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Marie Wells’s 5-year-old dog proved she was no damsel in distress when she stood between her owner and a violent ex-boyfriend who began stabbing at the pair with a 12-inch knife. “If she hadn’t been there, I don’t know what could have happened,” Wells told PEOPLE.
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When her owner, Christine Spain, lost consciousness on a set of Massachusetts train tracks, 8-year-old pit bull Lilly managed to drag her body to the side before colliding with an oncoming freight train. “We’re supposed to be strong for her, and Lilly’s been the one who’s helped us through this by her incredible strength,” Spain’s son David Lanteigne told PEOPLE. “It’s truly amazing.”
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When Josh Ornberg’s 13-year-old tabby cat climbed on his lap and began jumping around, he knew something was up. “She’s usually not a very social cat,” he told PEOPLE. “When I did wake up, I noticed the house was filling with smoke.” Thanks to Baby’s heads up, Ornberg and girlfriend Letitia Kovalovsky, who was then 7-months pregnant with twins, were able to exit their suburban Chicago residence safely after it was set ablaze.
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The 12-year-old pit bull didn’t hesitate to put himself between his owner, Justin Becker, and an armed burglar who broke into their Staten Island, N.Y., home. “My dog stuck his head out the door, and then [the thug] shot him in the head,” Becker told the New York Post. Miraculously, the bullet did not penetrate Kilo’s skull, and he was able to recover with only pain medication.
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The then-shelter dog defended her walker, a 17-year-old volunteer, when she was attacked by a registered sexual predator during one of their standard strolls around St. Petersburg, Fla. The act of bravery helped the Rhodesian Ridgeback mix find a forever home soon after.
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The three-year-old feline saved her parents’s lives when she smelled a lethal gas leak in their Great Falls, Mont., home, and woke up owner Trudy Guy by sitting on her chest and patting her nose. After hearing a hissing sound, Guy then woke her husband, Greg, who realized the scent and sound were coming from a burst pipe, and the trio immediately evacuated.
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What seemed like a nightmare eventually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Jerry Douthett, whose 1-year-old Jack Russell terrier ate the top half of his big toe. The incident forced the Michigan resident to head to a hospital, where doctors diagnosed an infection in his toe, and its cause: diabetes.
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Wheelchair-bound Jake Vernon has his American pit bull terrier to thank for waking him from a deep sleep when she saw that the headboard, pillows and bedside table of his Spokane, Wash., home had caught fire. “My dog was not afraid of the fire,” he told PEOPLE. “My dog walked right between me and the fire and stayed right there.”