'Tails' of Courage & Survival: Real-Life Pet HeroesRescue pets ... to the rescue! Meet five brave furry friends who have paid it forward

MABELINE

Three-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback mix Mabeline was in a grassy St. Petersburg, Fla., field – where local animal shelter volunteers go to walk dogs – when she heard the cry. A registered sex offender had pulled her 17-year-old walker down by her ponytail and started to attack her, so Mabeline began barking and growling until the predator ran away (he was later arrested). When the pooch's new owner, Mary Callahan, heard the story, she looked at Mabeline and thought, "You're a hero."