Everyone loves a real-life animal success story! Some of these famous animals are Internet stars, some actors, and some war heroes, but they are all special. Here are the names of 50 animals who have made their mark on history.
Apollo: A search and rescue dog from the K-9 unit for the NYPD he who was given awards in recognition of the work done by all search and rescue dogs following the September 11th attacks.
April: Back in 2017, April the giraffe was one of the most talked about topics! Her labor and delivery was livestreamed to more than a million people worldwide when she gave birth to Tajiri.
Balto: While most are familiar with the 1995 animated film, Balto was a real Siberian Husky and sled dog who helped lead a team of dogs to help deliver lifesaving medicine.
Bosco: A black Labrador retriever and Rottweiler mix who was the honorary mayor of Sunol, California from 1981 to 1994.
Bretagne: One of the 300 search dogs who helped during the September 11th rescue mission and hurricanes Katrina and Ivan.
Bubbles: A chimpanzee once kept as a pet by singer Michael Jackson, who bought him from a Texas research facility in the 1980s.
Bud: Along with his human Horatio Nelson Jackson, he was the first dog to drive an automobile across the United States in 1903.
Buddy: A German Shepherd who was the first seeing eye dog.
Champ: The name of one of the two dogs belong to President Biden, who had promised his wife Dr. Jill Biden that he would get them a puppy if Barack Obama won the 2008 election. Champ was named by one of Biden’s granddaughter.
Charlie: The name of President Kennedy’s dog who was a gift from his wife, Jackie Kennedy. The Welsh terrier sat on the President’s lap as he decided what to do about the missiles in Cuba.
Cher Ami: One of the 600 birds flown by the U.S. Army in France during World War I, Cher Ami delivered important messages, including his last one where he was injured but managed to still complete his job and saved lives as a result.
Chips: A trained sentry dog for the U.S. Army, Chips is reportedly the most decorated war dog from World War II.
Colonel Meow: An American Himalayan–Persian cat who was both an Internet star and the temporary holder of the 2014 Guinness world record for the longest fur on a cat.
Dewey: His full name was Dewey Readmore Books and he was the the library cat of Spencer, Iowa Public Library. He was left in the library’s drop box and nursed back to health by a librarian, who also wrote a book about her experience with Dewey.
Dolly: Dolly was a female domestic sheep and she was the first mammal to ever be cloned.
Elsa: A lioness who was adopted and cared for by a game warden and his wife after she was orphaned. They trained her to survive on her own and she was successfully re-released into the wild. Her story is told by several books and the film Born Free.
Félicette: She was the first and only cat launched into space, on 18 October 1963 as part of the French space program.
Gidget: The Taco Bell chihuahua who also played Bruiser in the second Legally Blond film alongside Reese Witherspoon.
Greyfriars Bobby: A well-known Skye Terrier in Edinburgh who was said to have spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died in 1872. He has been described as the most faithful dog in the world.
Grumpy Cat: Her real name may be Tardar Sauce, but the world knew her best as Grumpy Cat. She first became popular in 2012 when the owner’s brother posted her photo on Reddit.
Ham: This chimpanzee, known as Ham, was the first hominid in space. His successful flight was in 1961 and returned to Earth completely safe.
Incitatus: This was the name of Roman Emperor Caligula’s favorite horse. According to legend, Caligula planned to make Incitatus a consul, one of the two chief magistrates of the Roman Empire.
Jonathan: A tortoise who is the oldest known living land animal. He hatched in 1832.
Kabosu: The female Shiba Inu who is the dog featured in the original doge meme.
Keiko: The orca who was in the 1993 film Free Willy and his earlier names include Siggi and Kago. He was released into the wild in 2002.
Koko: A famous female western lowland gorilla who gained fame after appearing to use sign language and adopting a kitten.
Laddie Boy: An Airedale Terrier owned by President Warren G. Harding.
Lex: The first active duty, fully fit military working dog to be granted early retirement in order to be adopted after working for United States Marine Corps. He was given an honorary Purple Heart.
Lil BUB: While her full name was Lillian Bubbles, she was best known as Lil BUB! She was a celebrity cat who gained fame after her photos went viral when posted on Tumblr in 2011. She also was featured in the documentary Lil Bub & Friendz.
Lucca: Lucca was a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois service dog who was in U.S. Marine Corps and was trained to detect explosives. In her over 400 missions, no human fatalities occurred under her watch.
Major: One of President Biden and Dr. Biden’s two dogs. Major was first fostered by the Bidens and then adopted by them in 2018.
Marocco: Marocco (sometimes spelled Morocco) the Dancing Horse was a famous performing horse in 16th century England. He was so famous that he was referenced in Shakespeare’s play Love’s Labours Lost.
Moose: The wire-hair Jack Russell Terrier who portrayed Eddie Crane on the American television sitcom Frasier.
Nemo: Over 4,000 dogs served in the Vietnam war and only about 200 of them survived – including Nemo. He was wounded in battle but still was able to save a soldier and survive.
Owney: A terrier who became the first unofficial postal mascot by the Albany, New York post office and became the nationwide postal mascot for nine years.
Pal: A Rough Collie performer who portrayed Lassie in film, radio, and TV between 1943 and 1954.
Petey: His real name was Pal the Wonder Dog. He began starring in films at the age of six months and went on to be in many productions, including his well-known role in The Little Rascals.
Punxsutawney Phil: The groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania who is the central figure in the annual Groundhog Day celebration, which predicts when winter weather will end.
Rags: A terrier who began as a stray in Paris and became a hero during World War I by running messages from the front line.
Rin Tin Tin: A German Shepherd born in France, he was rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier and then became an international star in motion pictures.
Sallie: Her full name was Sellie Ann Jarrett and she was the mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry during the U.S. Civil War and even fought alongside soldiers.
Sam: Unsinkable Sam, according to a possibly untrue story, is the nickname of a cat who served during World War II and survived the sinking of three ships.
Seabiscuit: A 2003 film chronicled the story of real-life racehorse Seabiscuit who was an unlikely champion and beacon of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression.
Sgt Stubby: This good boy served in World War I for 18 months and saved his regiment from multiple attacks. He is the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant.
Sinbad: Originally supposed to be given to a sailor’s girlfriend during World War II, she couldn’t take him and the sailor took Sinbad with him and he became an official member of USCGC Campbell.
Smoky: A Yorkshire Terrier who was a famous war dog from World War II. She was found by an American soldier in New Guinea and managed to endure difficult conditions without health issues.
Smudge: The white cat featured in the woman yelling at cat meme.
Socks: An adopted stray cat of the Clintons who lived in the White House. He was adopted in 1991 after he jumped into the arms of their daughter Chelsea as she was leaving the house of her piano teacher
Terry: The name of the Cairn Terrier who played Toto in The Wizard of Oz.
Trakr: A German Shepherd police dog who helped discover the last September 11th survivor and was named one of the most history’s most heroic animals by Time magazine.