Animal Heroes Honored by Reader’s Digest


The August issue of Reader’s Digest features five pet heroes who saved the lives of their loved ones. Of all the heroes, my purrsonal favorite was not a cat… but a Quaker Parrot.

The parrot’s name is Willie, and he’s just 11 months old. When 2-year-old Hannah Kuusk began choking on a Pop Tart, Willie sounded the alarm using a word he’d never spoken previously: baby.

Shrieking “Mama, Baby! Mama, Baby!” over and over, Willie called for the babysitter, Meagan Howard, who’d left the room momentarily to go to the bathroom. Meagan ran in to find out what the commotion was and quickly administered the Heimlich maneuver to Hannah, who had already turned blue. The Pop Tart was dislodged and Hannah’s life was saved. Willie immediately stopped screeching.

Another Reader’s Digest hero is 14-year-old Winnie the Wonder Cat (pictured above).

A barn cat who was abandoned by her mother, Winnie was adopted by the Keesling family in New Castle, Indiana when she was just a few days old. The Keeslings feed her with an eyedropper until she was old enough to feed on her own.

That small act of kindness was repaid a hundredfold one cold March night when Winnie saved the entire family from certain death from carbon monoxide poisoning. You can read Winnie’s story here.

A chihuahua, a Palomino horse and a rescue mutt join Winnie and Willie as finalists. The winner of the Reader’s Digest Hero Pet of the Year Award will be announced on August 11th. Click here to vote for your favorite hero.

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