6 Amazing Animal Survival Stories of 2015

One pair of dogs survived for nearly a week lost in the woods before they were found. A missing cat returned five days after she was feared lost in a devastating wildfire. And, another dog was pulled to safety after falling 200 feet into a mine.

Those are just a few of the incredible stories of animal survival that happened this year. We’ve collected six of them in the gallery below.

Tales of Triumph in 2015

Tillie and Phoebe Vashon Island

Phoebe the 4-year-old Basset Hound got by with more than a little help from her best friend, Tillie the Setter mix. When their owner reported them missing from their home on Vashon Island, Washington, in September, the rescue group Vashon Island Pet Protectors spread the word on social media and sent out search parties. Nearly a week after they'd disappeared, a resident reported seeing a dog on their property who matched Tillie’s description. Volunteers went to investigate, and found the loyal dog lying beside an old water tank — and Phoebe was inside, reported Seattle’s KIRO. Tillie, 11, was honored by the governor of Washington for sticking by her pal throughout the incident.

Two dogs standing in a burned out bedroom in Modena, Pennsylvania

Another pair of dogs was found together after surviving a massive fire in their Pennsylvania home in July. Their family had feared the worst, but was relieved when police returned to the scene the next day and found the dogs standing in a burned-out bedroom on the second floor. Police called the Modena Fire Company saying, “They’re alive,” and that they needed a ladder to reach the dogs in the unstable structure. Firefighters got the dogs down safely and reunited them with their owners. The fire department said in a statement that finding the dogs alive was “truly a miracle."

Ruthie Rosemary cat in California wildfire

Out in California, Ruthie Rosemary the cat also made it through a terrible fire. Debi and Jeff Brusatori put the 3- to 4-year-old cat in their car when they had to evacuate their home in August because of an encroaching wildfire, but she jumped out as they pulled away. Five days later, when they returned to the ruins of their property, they heard meowing coming from under their burned-out truck, and spotted Ruthie Rosemary. She was unscathed except for some singed whiskers and eyebrows, according to a Facebook post from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

Bailey the dog rescued from Colorado mine

Bailey got a big hug from her owner, Eric Storrs, after a dramatic rescue in Colorado in September. The dog was walking just ahead of Storrs on a hike when she suddenly fell 200 feet into a clay mine. “She didn't fall straight down, the rock formations in the mine are like 'Swiss cheese' according to our crews, who often train there,” Ronda Scholting, spokeswoman for West Metro Fire Rescue, told PeoplePets. “So, most likely she fell down a few feet, then hit a diagonal portion of the shaft and slid further down.” Two rescuers were lowered into the mine to save her. “They said she was very alert, happy to see them, very friendly,” Scholting said. Bailey was pulled back up to the surface in a basket and reunited with Storrs.

Sammy the cat survives fall from 4th story window

Sammy, a 2-year-old cat, was lucky to survive a fall from the window of his owner’s fourth-floor apartment in New York in August. He was quickly treated by BluePearl Veterinary Partners for his injuries, including a broken hind leg, broken toes and a split palate. Emergency vet Dr. Rachel Carson called him the “sweetest, gentlest cat.”

Frisco the Cockapoo is found trapped under concrete slabs

An 8-year-old Cockapoo named Frisco had a close call in Fairfield, Connecticut, in October. His owner, Katie Keilitz, knew something was wrong when he suddenly stopped barking outside his home, reported Connecticut’s FOX 61. She went searching for him, and heard his quiet cries coming from under an “odd pile of rubble and heavy concrete slabs” in the woods next to her home. She called her husband and the fire department for help. Firefighters used structural collapse rescue tools and traditional digging equipment to free Frisco, and handed him back to his owners.

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