Camp Bow Wow, a dog day- and overnight-camp with locations throughout the United States and Canada, compiled the following Top 10 breaking animal news stories of 2011.
The Animal Rescue Team of the Humane Society saved 1,673 dogs from puppy mills in 2011.
A fallen soldier's family brought a dog they named "Hero" from Iraq to their home in Michigan. A social worker in Michigan went to great lengths to get her brother's two pet dogs out of Iraq after he died in December 2008. He had saved the stray Labrador and her pup in Baghdad.
When illness forced vets in the United Kingdom to remove a Great Dane's eyes, her canine pal Maddison, also a Great Dane, stepped in and became a guide dog. The pair have been inseparable for years but were looking for a new home together after their owner could no longer care for them. When the Daily Mail featured the heartwarming tale of the dogs, more than 2,000 dog lovers offered to take them. The dogs now live with a couple in Cheshire.
Jack the Cat was found after he went missing for more than seven weeks in the American Airlines baggage check area at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Jack the Cat's whereabouts became a social-media phenomenon. Sadly, the cat died nearly two weeks later, a result of malnutrition that occurred while he was lost.
Willow, a cat, disappeared from her home in Boulder, Colo., five years ago. She turned up recently in Manhattan, 1,800 miles from where she was last seen. A microchip implanted when she was a kitten helped track down her owners.
When Louie York, a French bulldog, flew cross-country on Sept. 15, from New York to Los Angeles, his 18-hour travel route included stops in Chicago, Omaha, Denver and Phoenix, followed by a seven-hour drive home to the San Francisco Bay Area. French bulldogs have been banned from most commercial airlines -- not for their bark or bite but because so many have died in flight.
Dozens of animals were killed after they had been freed from their cages at a 73-acre private reserve in Ohio.
Insurance fraud has reached a new low in the United Kingdom, where authorities discovered a rise in claims on pet insurance policies. According to the Association of British Insurers, last year, $3 million was collected in pet insurance compared to $667,842 in 2009.
More than 150 diamondback terrapins crossed an active runway recently, disrupting air traffic at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York so that they could continue their mating season.
A dog lost in the tsunami was found alive three weeks later floating on a roof at sea near Japan.