4 Animal Heroes Of 2012

We love and cherish our pets for many different reasons, but some of us are lucky enough to have pets that are also animal heroes.

There are many examples of animals who did more than just cuddle up or play fetch in 2012; here are my four favorites:

Cluck Cluck The Chicken

On December 28, Cluck Cluck, a chicken, (seen above), saved a Wisconsin couple from a fire. Yes, really, a chicken! Dennis Murawska, 59, said Cluck Cluck woke his wife at about 6:15 am when it made loud clucking noises from its cage in the basement two floors below.

The couple got out just in time, and firefighters were able to save the chicken. Jeff Gaede, the fire chief in Alma Center, was amazed when he discovered that a hero chicken had saved the day. It turns out that Cluck Cluck began wandering over to the Murawaska home from a nearby farm a while ago. The chicken had a mutated foot, and Cluck Cluck’s owner had declared his intention to kill the bird because it wasnít producing any eggs. That’s when Murawska made up his mind to save the chicken, a decision that really paid off for him!


Photo by courtesy of author

Sargent Pepper The Cat

My personal animal hero for 2012 is my cat, Sargent Pepper. I’ve recounted my story to Care2 members before: on the morning of November 25, as my husband and I were sleeping, our cat kept pawing at my husband’s face, trying to wake him. Not wanting to get up, my husband tried to push her away, but our cat persisted and persisted. It was when he reluctantly got out of bed to feed Sargent Pepper that he smelled the smoke. Two minutes later our basement exploded in flames.

Thanks to Sargent Pepper, we all got out just in time, although our house was destroyed. I love my cat!


Photo Credit: andreaarden

Gabe The Dog

Gabe, a retired military dog, was named American Hero Dog of 2012 at the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in Los Angeles in October.

Gabe† has completed over 200 combat missions in Iraq, in addition to spending several years sniffing out insurgent bombs, guns and ammunition in Iraq with his handler, Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Shuck, a drill sergeant leader at Fort Jackson’s Drill Sergeant School.

From www.army.mil:

“Winning the award was an amazing feeling because I knew that many Soldiers were going to benefit from the $15,000 we just won,” Shuck said. “Looking out at the crowd, who gave Gabe a standing ovation, was also amazing. Seeing Betty White and many other celebrities honor Gabe was a moment I will never forget. Having the support of Fort Jackson and Gabe fans in all 50 states and 22 countries was the key to victory. Every vote counted and we surely appreciate it.”


Photo Credit: thinkstock

Ellie The Donkey

Ellie is credited with saving three horses and another donkey from Colorado’s High Park wildfire after the couple boarding them was forced to evacuate. The animals† could not be reached for evacuation before the fire moved through their area and were feared lost, but a rescue crew sweeping the area after the fire discovered the herd in a safe place, with Ellie in charge.

It was Ellie who had moved them all to one of the few remaining unburned areas. Overall the horses and donkeys in Ellieís care weathered the fire without any serious injuries. Ellieís nose and coat were singed by the flames, but didnít need any treatment. The tails of the four horses had curled from the extreme heat.There were a few singed whiskers and tails, but everyone survived, and when Ellie climbed into the rescue crew’s horse trailer, the herd followed her as they had before.

Hooray for Ellie and all of these amazing animals!


Related Care2 Coverage

Heroic Donkey Keeps Buddies Calm and Safe in CO Wildfire

My House Burned Down. Why I’m Grateful

Hero Dog Now Homeless


Photo Credit: screenshot from WEAU13 News


Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M4 years ago

Great stories. Have been following Gabe for some time-absolutely awesome. So sad now that he has recently passed over the Bridge. A true hero and devoted friend. From a homeless dog to hero dog. He touched many hearts and will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, Gabe. You fought the good fight, you did your job well. And sincere condolences, Sgt Chuck Shuck, as I know your heart is breaking. Somehow, I know that Gabe will always keep watch over you.

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

These are just 4 animal hero's but there's millions that perform miracles around the Globe everyday!!!! I only wish that animals were respected and appreciated as they should be,especially Donkeys.

Christine Jones
Christine J4 years ago

Yay for all these animals, especially Ellie. People who say donkeys are stupid don't know what they're talking about.

Alicia Guevara
Alicia Guevara5 years ago

Hooray for Ellie and all of these amazing animals!

Carrie Anne Brown

great article, thanks for sharing :)

Kay M.
Kay M5 years ago


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

great stories

Colleen W.
Colleen W5 years ago

All my animals are heroes in my eyes....I love them unconditionally and they love me - I am their hero and they are mine!

Cheyenne Thunderbird
Cheyenne T5 years ago

I have had a big cat family and there is always one leader and it takes care that everything is OK home...like my old leader forced me into kitchen where was electric stove red without a kettle. this is only one thing but each and everyone has done it.

Claudia Cavallo
Claudia Cavallo5 years ago

Four heroes in this page, but for me animals are heroes every day as they have to live with people who treat them bad and still they trust them