An impressive 1 in 1.56 (64%) animal owners expect a pet to charge to the rescue in a crisis. That’s more than the odds that an adult showered yesterday (1 in 1.59, 63%)! Why do we expect our scaly, furry, and feathered friends to defend us to the death? Is this the thinking—we feed them, scoop their poops, and pay their bills—shouldn’t they at least save our lives?
And as far as pet owners are concerned the pact is reciprocal. Over half of American pet owners (1 in 1.79, 56%) believe they’d risk their lives for Fido or Fluffy. In February 2009, an Australian woman jumped from a police helicopter to rescue Poncho, her half-rottweiler companion. The previous year, Greg LeNoir jumped into the waters off the Florida Keys to save his rat terrier from a five-foot shark that had the 14-pound dog clamped in its jaws.
Why is the human-pet bond a matter of life and death? Research shows that owners tend to see their pets as worlds apart from ordinary animals.
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