03:49 PM EDT 03/31/2014
Originally posted 06/02/2013 12:00PM
Plymouth, Mass. officers lined the sidewalks Friday to bid farewell – and pay their respects – to their beloved police dog Kaiser as handler Jamie LeBretton walked his four-legged sidekick past the saluting crowd and into Court Street Animal Hospital.
The solemn sendoff came following Wednesday's announcement that Kaiser would be retiring from the force – and ultimately laid to rest to end his suffering after his recent diagnosis of severe liver and kidney disease.
"I could not have asked for a better partner or friend. May you rest easy and wait for me at that sacred bridge. I will be there my friend," LeBretton wrote on Facebook Friday, sharing a photo of his devoted dog.
Originally posted 05/29/2013 06:00AM
Rescue pets ... to the rescue! Meet five brave furry friends who have paid it forward
Originally posted 05/26/2013 10:25AM
Amid the heartbreak, there was hope – thanks to some furry friends, and a few big-hearted humans.
Despite the devastation in Oklahoma Monday after a deadly tornado tore through the state, readers found joy in the heartfelt images of shell-shocked residents reuniting with their beloved pets, and shared the heartwarming pictures in droves. (See them all here.)
Originally posted 03/05/2013 02:00PM
Forget diamonds – a dog in Poland proved to be a girl's best friend.
Rescue workers were able to find a 3-year-old girl, named Julia, who went missing overnight in Pierzwin, Poland, thanks to the barks of her "best friend," a stray black dog who often accompanies her.
The toddler wandered into the forest near her home after playing in her backyard with the pooch Friday evening. While members of the community searched for her, the dog stayed by her side and kept her warm throughout the freezing cold night. She was discovered Saturday morning in the marshes.
Originally posted 10/26/2012 04:30PM
Three days after a fire blazed through a New Hampshire farm on Sept. 6, the only thing more devastating than the physical damage was the presumed death toll: 14 horses and three cats.
But if there was someone who hadn't lost hope, it was Colby, the farm's 1,000-lb. pig.
After breakfast, the Bedford, N.H., Perry Hill Farm mascot, characteristically slow and sluggish, started wandering into the woods nearby.
Originally posted 10/24/2012 02:00PM
A fire blazed through a Portsmouth, N.H., couple's home Tuesday, damaging their historical home dating back to 1742. But there was a glimmer of hope for Dave Adams and his wife, whose 17-year-old cat survived the devastation – with some serious help from firefighters.
To the cheers of onlookers, firefighters carried Tiki Bear out of the house, which Adams, a carpenter, had spent the last 25 years renovating, reports local news outlet WMUR. The firefighters then administered oxygen and the cat began breathing again.
Tiki Bear was later checked into a veterinary clinic to seek treatment for smoke inhalation.
Originally posted 10/18/2012 06:50PM
When 10-year-old Kyle Camp disappeared from his home in Hackleburg, Ala., he took four very special companions with him: his dogs.
And it was those furry friends who ultimately helped lead volunteers to his location.
More than 18 hours passed between the time Camp, who has Down syndrome, went missing in the woods Tuesday and was back home safe and sound Wednesday morning.
"I heard the dogs barking again and followed him down there and started hollering for the puppies," Jamie Swinney, one of the two searchers who found Kyle at about 9:30 a.m., told the local Fox affiliate. "I hollered for him and he hollered back."
Originally posted 10/16/2012 09:00AM
Nearly six years ago, a Connecticut family rescued a dog named Duke from a shelter, arguably saving his life.
Last week, he returned the favor.
Jenna Brousseau and her husband were asleep on Oct. 7 when Duke burst into their room, jumped on the bed and began shaking uncontrollably. They decided to check on their 9-week-old daughter in her bassinet and discovered the unthinkable: she wasn't breathing.
Originally posted 09/21/2012 12:45PM
In his final days, 14-year-old Bingo went on walks with his best friend and enjoyed treats sent to him from around the world.
But all that might not compare to this: "Bingo will go to heaven on a marshmallow cloud that will have a chocolate water slide for dogs," Bingo's owner, 11-year-old Cole Hein, said in a statement announcing the Jack Russell terrier's death.
The dog made headlines earlier this year when Cole created a "lick it list" for the loyal pooch, a service dog who had been given to him to help combat a medical condition that causes him to stop breathing.
Originally posted 09/20/2012 09:00AM
On a good day, Peanut the orangutan greets visitors at Miami's Jungle Island zoo as they pass by her enclosure. If she likes them or finds them particularly interesting – yes, even great apes have discerning taste when it comes to people – she'll go out of her way to earn their attention with what her primary caregiver Linda Jacobs describes as "this twinkle in her eye – this sparkle."
On a bad day, and there are bad days sometimes, Peanut is tired. Since she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in June, she's undergone two installments of chemotherapy treatment in hopes that the 8½-year-old is young enough, strong enough, to overcome her cancer.
"She has days where she's just fatigued," Jacobs tells PEOPLE.com, "and that twinkle's still there – it's just not so bright."
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