The 30 Most Adorable Animal Stories of 2018
Let these aww-worthy anecdotes restore your faith in 2018.
The internet loves adorable animal stories—and it's pretty easy to understand why. Amid all the articles about warring world leaders and unstable economies, narratives about dogs finding their forever homes and baby sloths being reunited with their parents are like beacons of light in a pitch black tunnel. In 2018, the world yet again was littered with incredible animal-filled anecdotes—and just in time for the new year, we've rounded up 30 of the most adorable ones. Here they are.
The fat cat who found a loving home.
Back in April, couple Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman made headlines nationwide thanks to their new cat Bronson. At three years old and 33 pounds, calling Bronson big would be an understatement—but what makes his story so heartwarming is the fact that his new parents almost immediately decided that they would devote the necessary time and effort into helping him get down to a healthy weight the right way. Today, Bronson's 146,000 Instagram followers cheer on his weight loss progress, and the cat is already down to 28.4 pounds!
The dogs who didn't get left behind in the hurricane.
Earlier this year, Hurricane Florence left cities all across the country devastated by flooding. Though many folks were able to flee before the damage was done, the severity and chaos of the situation led to animals being left behind to fend for themselves as water levels rose.
Thankfully, though, there are people like Tony Alsup out there. Using an old-school bus that he converted into an emergency rescue shelter, the animal lover was able to head down to Georgetown, South Carolina, and rescue 64 stranded cats and dogs. Thanks to his efforts, all of the animals were placed in shelters, where they are currently waiting (on dry land) for their new forever homes.
The dog who became a national symbol for grief.
Though the world mourned the passing of former President George H. W. Bush on November 30th, perhaps no one was more upset than his service dog, Sully. Back in June, the nonprofit group America's VetDogs gave the labrador to Bush Sr. to help him handle his vascular parkinsonism, and he had been keeping the ex-president company up in Maine ever since.
On December 3, Sully—or whoever runs his social media—took to Instagram to post a photo in front of Bush's casket. In it, the service dog can be seen sleeping dutifully next to his owner, with a caption that reads, "Mission complete." Naturally, people are beyond moved by the dog's devotion—and though he will soon be reassigned to help more veterans, Sully's and H. W.'s bond will never be forgotten.
The pup who became a duck mom.
Fred, the 10-year-old labrador and resident pup at Mountfitchet Castle in England, is a very good boy. When he came across nine chicks wandering around the castle's property without a mother back in May, he decided to take it upon himself to adopt the small birds—and, well, as you can imagine, the adorable photos of the unlikely family went viral almost instantly.
The fluffy puppy who escaped police custody.
When a four-month-old chow-chow puppy named Bungle was taken into police custody back in November for biting an officer, the internet came to the fluffy dog's defense almost instantly. Unsurprisingly, the animal was let go after just five days in police custody, and Bungle remains the fluffiest and cutest criminal of 2018 (if not of all time).
The same-sex penguin couple who welcomed a child.
In October, gentoo penguins and same-sex couple Magic and Sphen of the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium stole the hearts of people everywhere. And their story got even better when, a few weeks after their internet debut, the couple welcomed their very own baby chick into the world, having been given a real egg to take care off by the aquarium staff. If Magic and Sphen don't make you a believer in true love, then nothing will.
The dog who really wanted ear medicine.
"My dog has ear medicine she needs and the other one also thinks he needs it too… nobody has the heart to tell him it's pretend," reads the caption for this adorable and hilarious dog video uploaded to Twitter by Chloe Copley. Basically, every time one dog needs ear medicine, Chloe's dad has to pretend to give the other dog, Cash, ear medicine or else he won't go away.
Watching Cash wait for his fake ear medicine is just so pure and endearing—and the rest of the internet seems to agree, seeing as the video has been liked more than 1.4 million times!
The sloth baby who was reunited with its mom.
When an orphaned baby three-toed sloth was brought to Jaguar Rescue Center in May, the folks there did whatever it took to reunite the child with its mother. For the first few days, the center searched the area where the baby was found to no avail—but once they started playing recordings of the baby's cries over the loudspeakers, the mom climbed down from her spot in the trees almost immediately. The mother/child reunion was a touching tribute a parent's love no matter what species they are—and if you want to watch the duo reunite, you can check out the video here.
The cat who saved his entire family.
The Kecskes are still alive today, and that's all thanks to their seven-year-old cat Mr. Boo. When the feline detected carbon monoxide poisoning inside the family house back in May, he began to wail and wake everyone up—and because of this, one of the family members was able to call 911 just as the carbon monoxide started to knock everyone out. Everyone was so impressed with Mr. Boo and his heroic efforts that PETA even decided to honor the cat with a framed certified, some catnip toys, and many a treat. What a good boy!
The good boy who completed a half-marathon.
For some people, half-marathons require months of rigorous training—and for others, like stray doggo Stormy, the spirit of a champion just comes naturally. Back in August, the pup stumbled across the starting line for the Goldfields Pipeline half-marathon in Western Australia and completed it in just two-and-a-half hours. In recognition of his efforts, the race organizers awarded Stormy a medal, and people at the finish line were more than happy to give the good boy some well-deserved pats and belly rubs.
The cat who found his family again after 15 years.
Some 15 years ago, Janet Barnes' cat Winston ran away without a trace. Barnes never thought she'd see her pet again, but she and Winston were reunited earlier this year after more than a decade apart when the cat showed up at a vet's office some 30 miles away from Janet. "It's just unbelievable," Barnes told the Telegraph. "It really is so lovely to have him back."
The dogs who got rescued during the Olympics.
Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel came home from the 2018 Winter Olympics with more than just a gold medal. Whilst in South Korea for the winter games, Duhamel somehow found the time between media appearances and intense training sessions to rescue Mootae and Daegong, two pups who were slated to become someone's dinner via the dog meat market.
The rescue dog who helped a bullied boy heal.
Because of his alopecia, 12-year-old Jordan Radlick was bullied by the other kids in his middle school class. Because of all the name-calling and teasing, Jordan's mother Cheri told the Detroit Free Press that her son refused to leave the house and had to enroll in an online school—but that all changed once Fred joined the family.
According to Cheri, "it was love at first sight" for Jordan and his new furry friend. Like Jordan, Fred the Australian shepherd/lab mix has seen his fair share of torment, but the pals have found a way to support one another through thick and thin.
The ape who surprised everyone by giving birth.
Animals in the zoo give birth all the time, so what's so special about Eloise the ape? Well, apparently nobody actually knew that the 37-year-old Siamang housed at the San Diego Zoo had ever gotten pregnant—in fact, they thought it impossible, seeing as she was on birth control.
"We are overjoyed," Jill Andrews, the zoo's animal care manager, said in a statement. "Any birth of an endangered species is a reason to celebrate."
The German shepherd who got adopted by Joe Biden.
Back in November, former Vice President Joe Biden was making headlines nationwide—but not for the reasons you'd imagine. Believe it or not, it was because he and his wife Jill had decided to make things official with their foster dog Major by adopting him permanently. People were quick to note how adorably similar Biden and his new German shepherd pup looked, and folks applauded the political pundit for "using [his] fame for such good causes."
The cat who adopted a firefighter.
No, folks, you aren't reading that incorrectly. When Fairview Valley Fire Inc. firefighter Ryan Coleman came across a stray kitten during recent rescue efforts in northern California, the feline was so grateful that she simply stayed on his shoulders while he continued to work. "She just chilled on my neck and shoulders as I'd walk around," Coleman wrote on in a now-viral Facebook post.
Though the firefighter isn't sure whether he has the time to take care of the cat permanently, Coleman's successful rescue mission means that the animal will get a second chance at life.
The dog who was "too nice" found her forever home.
Yes, believe it or not, there is such a thing as an animal being returned to the shelter for being too nice. Evidently, the man who adopted Helena—the dog who was deemed to sweet—was looking for a guard dog, and this sweetie pie just wasn't up for the menacing task. Luckily, though, Helena only had to spend two days in the shelter before being adopted by her new forever family, one who was able to accept her as the bona fide love bug she is.
The military dog who got a forever home with her favorite soldier.
This summer, US Marine Nick Montez was reunited after some seven years with his former bomb-sniffing dog Mally in a love story for the ages. After Montez was honorably discharged in 2013, he looked into whether he could adopt his four-legged friend, but she was still on active duty in Afghanistan. However, the solider never gave up, and in 2018, he finally received word from Idaho Senator Mike Crapo that Mally was ready to be adopted.
The sea lion who stopped traffic to snooze.
In late October, Point Loma, California residents received quite a surprise when they found a sea lion taking a nap in the middle of the road. Though it's unusual for the animal to stray so far from the water, officials from SeaWorld checked the sea lion out and determined that she was in tip-top shape. It seems that even sea lions need a change of scenery sometimes!
The pig who found his way home thanks to a bag of Doritos.
How do you lure a pig the size of a horse back to where it belongs? By using a bag of Poppin' Jalapeno Doritos, obviously. That's precisely what Deputies Shelly Ponce and Ashleigh Berg of the Highland Sheriff's Station in San Bernardino County, California, ended up doing in October after receiving a call about a local pig on the loose. Luckily, the pet pig was safely returned home, but there's still no word on the status of those Doritos.
The puppy siblings who recognized one another.
All of those folks out there who claim that dogs aren't particularly smart simply haven't met Louie. While out walking with his owner Walela back in May, the Labradoodle stopped dead in his tracks in front of a fellow doodle who turned out to be his literal brother (from the same breeder and parents and everything). So there, dog-brilliance deniers.
The bear cub who got his head stuck in a jar of snacks.
Back in October, rangers from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources spent three days tracking a 100-pound bear club with a plastic snack bucket stuck around its head. Eventually the park officials were able to catch up with "Buckethead," as the bear was affectionately nicknamed, to remove the jar, and the cub was able to reunite with its family almost immediately.
As for what was in the jar before it became a headpiece? "We think it was one that had pretzels or cheese balls in it, by the shape anyway," department officials wrote on Facebook. Based on those assumptions, we really can't blame Buckethead for trying to get his paws on every last crumb.
The dog who stopped a literal cat fight.
Over the summer, an adorable and hilarious video started making the rounds on Twitter and Reddit. In it, a cat is seen getting ready to fight another cat—but before it can pounce, a Golden Retriever approaches the cat and grabs it by its harness to prevent the cat fight. Though nobody knows the story behind the video, this cat-dog cooperation is easily still one of the most adorable animal stories from 2018.
The squirrel who got mistaken for a burglar.
When police in Harrow, London, got a call back in July about a potential home burglary, they were prepared to enter the crime scene and take down an armed suspect. But when they got to the alleged scene of the crime, what they found was not a burglary in progress, but just a "rogue squirrel" making a loud mess. Oops!
The dog who waits every day for his owner to return.
In the southwestern city of Chongqing, China, a 15-year-old good boy named Xiongxiong waits at the train station every day for his human to return home. The elderly dog has long been a local fixture in his small community, but after a video of him went viral this year, people all over the world became obsessed with his story, and some have even gone so far as to visit him in China.
The dog who overcame the odds and played fetch with his neighbor.
"A fence can't stop my two-year-old from playing with his new best friend." That's what the caption reads on a video shared to Twitter back in July of a little boy throwing a ball over his neighbor's fence and a good boy throwing it back. People fell in love with these long-distance friends almost as soon as they were introduced to the internet—and to date, their fetch video has more than 1 million views and 295,000 retweets on Twitter alone.
The corgi who rode a pony.
It's not every day that you see a dog riding a pony, so naturally this video of a corgi on a pony's back took the internet by storm when it was uploaded by user Callie Schenker back in February. According to her post, the dog—who belongs to her neighbor—often "randomly shows up" and enjoys spending time with Cricket, Schenker's "one-eyed wonder pony." An unlikely pairing for sure, but an adorable one nonetheless.
The squirrel who got prosthetic wheels.
In April, Karamel became the first-ever squirrel to be given prosthetic wheels. The little guy had to have his paws removed after getting caught in a trap—but with the help of orthopedists at Istanbul Aydin University in Turkey, he is back to being as mobile as ever.
The emu and donkey duo who fell in love.
After the story of an emu and a donkey falling in love went viral, Walking Dead actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan decided to step up and adopt the pair so they could stay together. Jack and Diane, as the two are so aptly named, are now living out their days cuddling and playing together on Morgan's farm in New York's Hudson Valley.
The rescue dog who's now part of the police force.
"The Marblehead Police Department would like to introduce the newest addition to our Police Force," the department wrote on their Facebook page in November. "Zorro is an adopted Chihuahua who was adopted by Chief Joy to help reduce the influx of adoptable pets due to hurricane Florence. Zorro is being trained to be a Certified Therapy K9 for those that are in retirement homes, assisted living and anyone else that needs to be cheered up. Zorro will also be accompanying Chief Joy on patrols. All funding, training, or any additional costs will be provided by Chief Joy as a thank you for everyone's continued support for our Police Department."
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