A regular morning romp through the yard turned into a nightmare for a young Chihuahua named Buster when he was suddenly attacked and taken by a wild coyote in the suburban town of Littleton, Colo. But thanks to two brave pit bull neighbors, the dog survived the frightening encounter and is on the road to a recovery.
Four-year-old Buster had just returned from his morning walk with mom Jodi Robinette on July 31, but wanted a little more play time outside. Having already checked the surroundings of her back yard, Robinette felt it safe to let Buster burn off some active energy while she kept an eye out from her living room couch. But not even 30 seconds later, Robinette was back on her feet.
Call it the will to survive: One cat is on the road to recovery today after she was left for dead in a pet carrier that was apparently put into Boston's Charles River last week. Nicknamed Grandma Moses by staffers at the MSPCA-Angell, where she's recuperating, her potentially tragic story became a small miracle, thanks to one very good Samaritan.
When Cherry Woods found herself the target of two pit bulls in the distance, ready to attack, she started walking back home. But the dogs caught up to her, and even as she and her husband tried to fight them off, they continued to charge and bite her legs.
According to a report from Houston's KHOU news channel, a surprise hero came to her rescue: her tortoiseshell cat, Lima. As the Pearland, Texas, woman struggled, her onetime stray cat jumped out of the bushes and scratched one of the dogs, hissing at them. With the dogs distracted, Woods's husband Harold was able to bring her into the house.
Brenda van Bovene's Monday was punctuated by screams. First, the screams of her 11-year-old Australian silky terrier Tammy, then by her own shrill cries – so loud that a neighbor across the street heard them through his ear buds as he listened to his iPod.
Van Bovene heard Tammy crying in a terrible, distressed way from the backyard that afternoon, which prompted the 56-year-old woman to rush outside to see what was wrong. She was shocked to find her 15-lb. dog caught in the stranglehold of an 8-ft. python, which was slowly coiling itself around Tammy in a bid to kill her.
A year after Tristan Moulton was born, he was diagnosed with a degenerative disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2, and his parents, Travis and Melissa, were told he wouldn't live past the age of 4.
Now 6, Tristan, who loves watching Cars and playing hide-and-seek with his nurses, is beating those odds, but his world is tough: He's wheelchair-bound, requires 24-hour care and has already been airlifted to the hospital three times this year, due to pneumonia-related complications.
So when his parents agreed to get him a puppy in April, they hoped it would be a bright spot in his life. They took him to a Yorkshire terrier breeder 65 miles from their home in Victor, Idaho, and told him he could have any dog he wanted. He picked the runt of the 12-week-old litter, and named him Max.
In his new action flick The Losers, Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a ruggedly handsome tough guy with a heart of gold, which, come to think of it, probably wasn't much of a stretch for the 44-year-old actor.
While most of the cast and crew came back from filming in the jungles of Puerto Rico with souvenir trinkets, Morgan came back with a new best friend – a very grateful, rambunctious mutt named Bandit.
"He just wandered out of the jungle in Puerto Rico, like our second day there, and promptly got hit by a car," Morgan tells PEOPLE at the film's Los Angeles premiere.
Greg Guy wants his phone to stop ringing, but he knows that's probably not going to happen -- at least not for a while. "I just wish all this would die down a bit," says Guy, 62. "It's been crazy."
It seems that ever since news got out that his three-year-old feline, Schnautzie, won an animal hero award for sniffing out a potentially lethal gas leak in his house, every reporter in the world has felt compelled to phone him up and pester him with questions. "It could have been bad, real bad," explains Guy when asked what would have happened if Schnautzie hadn't alerted his wife Trudy, 55, that something was wrong.
With the help of the Internet, some kind drivers and a lot of gasoline, shelter dogs are getting a new start. Spared from being euthanized at a kill shelter, thousands of dogs have gone from death row to safe havens by traveling hundreds of miles in a journey that starts in the South and the Midwest and usually ends in Canada.
Called the Doggie Underground Railroad, it works thanks to the efforts of Open Arms Pound Rescue and its network of volunteers, pounds, foster homes and e-mail lists that an average of 15 dogs per week have been rescued since 2007.
When Troy Yokum arrived home after a tour of duty in Iraq last year, he spent one day relaxing with family before hatching a plan. Stunned by the stories of friends who'd returned from the war and lost their jobs, he was on a mission: To raise money for struggling military families, and bring awareness to his cause.
Now, seven months later, Yokum is preparing to pound the pavement on a 7,000-mile, 16-month cross-country walk, with his sister's 2-year-old Shiba Inu Emmie by his side. Inspired by Terry Fox, the cancer research activist who attempted to run across Canada with an artificial leg, Yokum, 30, knew he had to do something big to draw attention.
"Terry raised so much money, and I was so impressed with his story," Yokum tells PEOPLEPets.com. "I knew if I was at least one-quarter as successful as him, I could raise some serious funds." Yokum's goal is to raise $5 million for Soldiers' Angels, earmarked for needy families.
With the help of companies like Louisville Slugger and Dog Is Good, Yokum's dream is coming true. On Saturday, he'll begin the rain-or-shine journey in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., stopping in major cities and 20 Major League Baseball stadiums along the way. He'll first walk to Los Angeles – "I'm hoping to get on the Ellen DeGeneres Show," he says – then back east toward San Antonio, and onward to New York City and Boston. From there, he'll turn around and head back to Louisville.
Estimating his walk at roughly 50 million steps, Yokum knows it'll be hard on him, as well as on Emmie. "Twenty miles is roughly 100,000 steps for a dog, so you can do the math," he says. "But I don't want people to think this is punishing for her." In fact, Emmie and Yokum take daily 20-mile hikes together, and she'll get to ride in Yokum's chase vehicle whenever her paws are pooped. They'll take days off, too, but only Emmie will get to rest: Yokum plans to fill his downtime with press appearances.
Along the way, the duo will stay with host families and in American Legion and VFW facilities, and visit veterans hospitals to lift soldiers' spirits. "Emmie can bring a smile to anyone's face," Yokum boasts. He'll also carry a drum to draw extra attention to himself. "I want people to come out and interact, and learn about the cause," he says. "Qualified men and women who've risked their lives for this country shouldn't be doing teenage-level work. They deserve their well-paying jobs."
Yokum himself has risked it all for his country as well. "My mom thinks I've already scarified enough," he says. But somehow he's still finding a way to put others before himself. "If you'd told me a year ago when I was sitting in the desert in Iraq that I'd be doing this, I'd have said, 'You're joking'," Yokum says. "And now, here we are."
To contribute to Yokum and Emmie's walk, visit their official Web site (check out the event schedule to see if they'll be stopping in your city). And help support their cause with the "Never Walk Alone" T-shirt from Dog is Good ($19.99).
Meet more heroic animals on PEOPLEPets.com:
Chicago Cop, Dog Retire After 9 Years Together
Gracie the Dog Helps Paralyzed Owner Escape Fire
A heroic beagle named Valentine has proved to be a fiercely loving mother – even after being abandoned by her owner in a snowstorm when she was about to give birth.
During a brutal snow emergency in mid-February, Julie Holmes, the chief dog warden for Hamilton, Ohio, responded to a call for help from a local resident who heard two dogs barking at something that seemed out of place. Found were a thin mom and seven newborn puppies trying to survive the cold in extreme distress.
chickennugget in Dogs