Memorial Day, In Memory of Hero Birds and Animals

NYC - LES: Seward Park - Togo statue
Originally uploaded by wallyg.

Originally uploaded by stksave27.

"In January of 1925, a diphtheria epidemic broke out in the isolated town of Nome, Alaska. There was a minimal amount of serum available, and the diphtheria outbreak showed no signs of lessening it grip on the town. Dr. Curtis Welsh, Nome physician radioed for help.

In 1925 Alaska had no way to connect with the interior and the cold and weather would freeze airplane motors solid. The only way to get supplies from Anchorage to the town of Nome, (then about 1,700 population) was to ship the serum to Nenana, the last rail head in Alaska. The only way to get the precious, life saving serum to the interior was by an ancient mode of travel - dog power!"Turtlezen

Here is Balto's story and some great pictures and here is a great site with Togo's story.

Both dogs are heroes and reading about them on the web it seems some people put a kind of competition on them about who is the most heroic but that's just adding a human spin on them that I don't think is needed. They are both deserving of praise! :)

Purina in Spring
Originally uploaded by inherdarkroom.

Purina has an amazing page of hero pets going back to the 60's. Reading these mentions will leave you no doubt that animals are capable of amazing acts of heroism and selfless acts to save their loved ones.

Charles with a white pigeon
Originally uploaded by empirik.

This webpage has great info on the heroic acts of Pigeons during WW2. I liked this page more for the mentions of their life-saving than other things so its a good read for those purposes. I adore pigeons and have 4 currently myself! (All rescues, yes people love and rescue injured pigeons!) :)

In this article about the Animal Hero Dickin Medals being auctioned, they mention the acts of heroism both Tyke the Pigeon and Peter the Collie dog.

Imperial War Museum North
Originally uploaded by Black X List.

There is a museum exhibit going on in England now to honor brave animals in wartimes, you can get all the info here and here. This is a free exhibit.

Animals of many kinds from dogs and cats, to lions and eagles have also been adopted officially and unofficially as pets and mascots by the armed forces. A number of these are featured in the exhibition including Rin Tin Tin, who was found as a puppy on the Western Front in the First World War and went on to become a Hollywood legend; Judy, the pointer, the only animal to have been officially registered as a Japanese prisoner of war; Voytek, the bear mascot of the 22nd Transport Company of the Polish Army Service Corps who saw action at Monte Cassino in 1944; and Simon of HMS Amethyst, the only cat to have been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal known as the “animals’ Victoria Cross”. Dickin Medals on display include those awarded to three police horses during the V1 Flying Bomb Offensive of 1944 and to Buster, the spaniel, who located a cache of arms in Iraq in 2003.