96 voters

The Most Incredible Hero Dogs Of 2017

Updated October 13, 2018 519 votes 96 voters 1.4k views14 items

List RulesVote up the good boys and girls who put their best paws forward to help humans and other creatures in 2017.

These stories of hero dogs 2017 will inspire you, but they probably won't surprise you. It's 2017 and we're still wondering what we did to deserve dogs. The list of dogs that saved humans this year is long and the list of hero dogs in 2017 who did incredible things is even longer.

This year's biggest dog heroes showed up in ways you couldn't even make up. One loyal pup stayed with his paralyzed owner for 20 hours, barking and licking his face to keep him alive. Other hero dogs in 2017 survived dog fighting rings and the South Korean meat market, only to turn around and help humans get through their own problems. Why? They are dogs, Earth's most perfect creature (see these dog Snapchats for proof).

There were police dogs who took bullets for their partners, brave canines who ran into burning buildings or deep water to rescue other animals, and resourceful dogs who figured out how to save themselves. After you read through these news stories about dogs saving humans in 2017, you'll probably want to stick a few treats in your pocket so you can hand them out to random dogs you see on the street. They probably deserve them.

  • 1

    Sandy Ran Into A Burning Home To Save Her Best Friend: A Blind Chihuahua

    When you're fortunate enough to escape from a building that is burning down, you usually don't run back into the building. But in 2017, heroic 10-year-old Pomeranian Sandy paid this advice no mind and ran back to hang with her best bud, a 13-year-old blind Chihuahua named Tina, as their owner's house in Hertfordshire, England, was burning down. Their owner, Lily Ifield, was already outside when Sandy ran back in. She was devastated.

    "They were only going to come out together," said firefighter Pat Steadman. Luckily, both dogs were saved by the rescue team.

    Agree or disagree?
  • 2

    Odin Refused To Leave His Goat Herd Behind As His Family Fled A Fire

    Photo: Roland Tembo Hendel / Facebook

    On October 9 at 10:30 PM, Roland Tembo Hendel smelled smoke from the Tubbs fire that would go on to destroy much of Santa Rosa, CA. He surveyed his land, but saw no immediate danger. By 10:55, the sky had turned orange, and he and his daughter decided they should evacuate. Shortly after, they saw the flames.

    They quickly gathered their things but Odin, their "stubborn and fearless" goat-guarding Great Pyrenees, refused to leave. In a Facebook post, Hendel wrote, "Even under the best of circumstances it is nearly impossible to separate Odin from the goats... I made a decision to leave him, and I doubt I could have made him come with us if I tried. We got out with our lives and what was in our pockets."

    What could have been a heartbreaking end for this loyal dog and his beloved goats turned out to be nothing short of a miracle. When Hendel and his daughter returned to their wasteland of a farm the following day, eight goats happily ran up to him, followed by a limping Odin, whose fur and whiskers were singed, but who was otherwise okay. He had even brought in several baby deer who were huddled around him for protection.

    Hendel wrote, "He is our inspiration. If he can be so fearless in this maelstrom, surely so can we."

    Agree or disagree?
  • 3

    Chloe Found A Missing Cat Two Months After A House Fire

    Photo: Christine Marr / Facebook

    In May 2017, Christine Marr had finally accepted that her cat, Ringer, probably died in the fire that hit her home two months earlier. Her dog, Chloe, had suffered injuries from smoke inhalation and barely made it out alive, and their other cat, Smoke, had died in the fire. Ringer's loss was especially hard because Chloe and Ringer had been inseparable best buds.

    But when Christine, her husband, and Chloe went back to visit their now-gutted home, Chloe started acting strangely. She immediately began scratching at the floorboards, licking all of the corners of the house, and sticking her head though a hole in the wall that connected to underneath the house. They couldn't get Chloe away from the hole. 

    Marr said she got a flashlight and shined it into a hole near the floor, "and I heard a faint meow." It was Ringer. Their beloved cat had somehow survived for two months under the floorboards with no food and water. Firefighters had spent hours searching for the cat, but it was the dog's sense of smell and loyal devotion that led to the discovery.

    Agree or disagree?
  • 4

    Abigail, A Former Fighting Dog, Now Acts As An Inspiration To Others

    Video: YouTube

    Abigail was picked up as a stray and entered into Miami's busy city shelter in November 2016. Photos (warning, the photos are disturbing) show that she was in terrifyingly bad shape, missing all of one ear and part of the skin off her face. Her veterinarian deduced that she had been involved in a dog fighting ring.

    Throughout 2017, Abigail made a slow, but steady recovery. After frequently changing her head bandages, the owner of the rescue noticed they looked like bonnets. She started buying her real bonnets to wear over the bandages.

    Photos of Abigail, all gussied-up, traveled around the Internet, and her growing fan base began sending fancier hats as gifts. After nearly dying on the streets, Abigail now had a community and continues to inspire hope. She's also provides a positive image of the Pit Bull breed, one that is often maligned.

    Not only did Abigail make a full recovery, but she was named the American Humane Society's 2017 hero dog of the year.

    Agree or disagree?