updated 05/16/2014 AT 11:45 AM ET
•originally published 05/16/2014 AT 9:00 AM ET
When Tara the cat came to the rescue of a young boy in California this week, pouncing on a dog that was attacking the child, the Internet was captivated. The whole unbelievable episode was caught on camera – and around 8 million people have watched the video on YouTube so far.
Tara is just one of many pets who has gone the distance for a human, stepping in to save a life when sensing something is wrong. Below, find six of our favorite stories of animal bravery – and be sure to give your pets a little extra love tonight:
Stray Dog Keeps Lost Girl Warm Through Freezing Night in the Forest
“It is thanks to this dog that the girl survived the night,” a firefighter in Poland said of a stray who stayed by the 3-year-old’s side. “He is a hero.”
“The dog saved my life,” owner Cecil Williams said of guide dog Orlando, who attempted to stop his blind, unconscious owner from falling onto the tracks, and alerted bystanders to the emergency.
Puppies’ Loud Barking Leads Rescuers to Missing Boy with Special Needs
When 10-year-old Kyle Camp disappeared from his home in Hackleburg, Alabama, he took four very special companions with him: his dogs. And it was those furry friends who ultimately helped lead volunteers to his location.
Rescue Saves Owners’ Unconscious Baby
Jenna Brousseau and her husband were asleep when pup 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.
Pup Saves Collapsed Owner by Calling 911
When Terry McGlade collapsed from a seizure, his rescue dog Major knew just what to do – he grabbed the phone out of McGlade’s pockets with his teeth and stepped on the screen for several seconds, automatically dialing 911.
After waking his owners, then-3-month-old Hunter led them to the kitchen, where they realized their gas stove had been left on for nearly six hours.