Animal Planet’s “SAVED” profiles real-life animal heroism

Any pet owner who truly loves his or her pet will tell you about the connection between them, how it’s unique and so unconditional, and life-changing. A new six-part series on Animal Planet, SAVED (premiering Nov. 14 at 8pm ET/PT), aims to illustrate how that bond can develop so far as to be life-saving.

Hot on the paws of Hallmark Channel’s Hero Dog Awards, SAVED relies on first-person accounts of those whose animals played an indispensable role in saving their lives, either physically or emotionally. The premiere episode starts off with a heartrending story of a soldier, Army Spc. Justin Rollins, who was killed in action in Iraq. On his last day, he and his unit found 15 stray puppies outside an Iraqi police station and took photos of themselves with the pooches — photos which he intended to send to his fiancée, Brittney, back home. When Rollins was killed, the photos made their way back to his parents and to Brittney. Together, they decided that one of these pups had to be brought home, both as a reminder and to help them to recover from their grief.

Other stories in SAVED are of the more immediately dramatic type that you would expect, like that of Michael Bosch and his dog, Honey. Adopted to keep Bosch company after a serious heart attack left him lonely and depressed, Honey became a lifesaver when Bosch’s SUV flipped five times and was left hanging upside down. Forcing Honey out the window, Bosch fell in and out of consciousness for eight hours while Honey sought out and brought back rescuers to save his life.

These are just a couple of the stories in which SAVED details the heroism, the dependability and loyalty of pets, and the absolute devotion that passes between them and their owners. It’s a moving tribute to that bond and one that anyone who’s ever had a pet should find enlightening.

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Photo: Animal Planet

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