Pets aren’t just beloved members of the family—they can also serve as the ultimate clawed, fanged, taloned, and hoofed home protectors.
Yes, that’s right: Canines are far from the only (or even best) watchdogs in town. Cats, pigs, ferrets, and even birds have proved their worth keeping homes and their inhabitants safe from fire, poisonous gas, bullets, and even bears.
While pets can’t always save a place single-handedly (or -pawedly), having them is good not just for the soul, but for our property, too.
Polly is a hero
Parrots can do much more than mimic human speech with disturbing (and highly annoying) accuracy, as evidenced by a parrot named Pearly.
In 2014, after a fire started in the laundry room of its owner’s home in Fort Lauderdale, FL, this Indian ringneck parrot actually beat the smoke detectors as an alarm (birds are extremely sensitive to fumes). Even though Pearly couldn’t leave its cage, the bird flapped and squawked until the owners woke up and called the fire department, avoiding major damage to the house.
Maybe now the entire family will come to love, or at least appreciate, the 3-year-old bird.
“My children never liked the bird and [my fiancé] Dave doesn’t like the bird either, so now maybe the bird will be [seen] in a better light,” homeowner Laurajean Nisel told ABC News Local10.
Three legs of fury
What has three legs and takes bullets to stop a robbery? That would be Levi, an affectionate 15-year-old pit bull in Janesville, WI.
During a home invasion in January, when a robber threatened Darcy Cherry and her boyfriend with a gun, the brave dog put himself between his owner and her assailant and got shot. Luckily, the bullet only grazed his head and lodged in his shoulder. But the dog did his job: The robber fled, empty-handed.
It wasn’t Levi’s first brush with the criminal element: A couple of years earlier, he had been dognapped. And did we mention that he had lost his leg after a hiking accident?! This dog has either the best luck or the worst. But suffice it to say, his owners feel very lucky to have him.
Most people don’t take pigs for pets, but science has shown that, as far as animals go,pigs have pretty high IQs. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that a sweet-hearted swine named Lucky in Mt. Carmel, IL, saved an entire family from a fire in their trailer in June 2014.
“He jumped down, hit the bedroom door, jumped back up, hit the bed, and rooted me really hard. When I sat up, the room was really smoky,” owner Ina Farler told NBC News. She, her two grandchildren, and Lucky escaped the blaze. That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.
You rescue me, I’ll rescue you
A couple of years ago, Craig Jeeves rescued a stray cat named Sally. Well, Sally returned the favor and rescued the 49-year-old Australian right back: After a fire broke out in his home in September 2014, Sally woke Jeeves in time to escape the flames.
“She jumped on my head and was sort of, like, screaming at me,” Jeeves told On Demand News while he stood outside the blackened shell of his home. Fine, the home didn’t survive, but as long as these two have each other, we aren’t too worried.
Puppy battles a bear—and wins
Does a pint-size puppy stand a chance against a massive bear? It does if the pup in question is Coco, defending three sleeping kids.
After a black bear broke into Priscilla Epperson’s Gatlinburg, TN, house one evening in September 2014, it wandered into a bedroom where the tykes were snoozing. That’s when Coco went ballistic. Epperson, who was doing the laundry, went to see what the fuss was about.
Coco “had chased the bear outside and freaked it out. She was running so fast, it looked like the bear got confused and just took off running up the driveway,” Epperson told WRTV 6. “I’ve seen a million bears since I’ve been here, but I’ve never seen one run from a dog.”
The superior senses of Max
Somehow, dogs can tell when something’s wrong. In early March 2014, Max, a German shepherd from Novato, CA, dragged his 80-year-old owner into the hallway when a wall heater broke, pouring carbon monoxide and natural gas into the house. The owner, Jack Farrell, had succumbed to the fumes, but he was able to recover in the hall. He escaped, and Max got a whole lot of treats—as he should.