Dog Honored After Saving Koalas from Australia’s Wildfires

by Courtney Blackann

What did we do to deserve dogs? They’re probably the best creatures to walk the earth (sorry cat-lovers, it’s true). And one very good pup is being honored for his courageous efforts in saving koalas from Australian bush fires.

Bear is the name of the hero dog that helped save the koalas. And while his story ends happily, it’s a bittersweet journey that will make you love him even more. The Australian Koolie didn’t always have a job as a furry-faced super hero. He actually didn’t have a home. And no one wanted to keep him because he had so much energy and was always ready to go. Bear was constantly trying to play. These behaviors were just too difficult for some people to handle.

However, Bear had those qualities for a reason. He was a perfect pup for the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Detection Dogs for Conservation Team. This school specially trains dogs to sniff out koalas as well as other animals in harm’s way during disasters.

Bear shined like a star during his time there and had plenty of energy – and a new purpose. The organization works with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to protect the wildlife.

Super Dog Sniffs Out Burned Koalas

Using his superior smelling senses, Bear helped sniff out over 100 koalas in Australia during the “Black Summer” of wildfires. The animals were able to be rescued from severe burns, smoke and dehydration. Bear was the bravest boy and proud of his work. This encouraged the IFAW to award him with special recognition for his bravery and help.

 “We think Bear really deserved this award because he’s been such a good boy in helping us find and rescue a lot of koalas, especially during the bushfires, but he works throughout the year to help us in our job to make a better and safer place for koalas. We’ll give Bear extra pats and extra play for his award,” Bear’s handler, Dr. Romane Cristescu of the University of the Sunshine Coast, said in a statement, via Yahoo! News.

Additionally, IFAW recognized another special dog from England who assisted people in healthcare facilities during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The dog, named Jasper, worked as a therapy animal to offer love and support to those who were tirelessly working.

“Jasper’s role has always been to make people smile and feel better, and during the peak of the pandemic, when everyone was giving so much, sometimes staff just needed to have a cuddle with Jasper, have a cry, and go back to the wards.” David Anderson, Jasper’s owner, said.

We agree. Both of these dogs are absolute super heroes who deserve the recognition. Congrats to Bear and Jasper!