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9 animal tales that touched our hearts in 2013

3:59 PM, Dec 31, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - There were dozens of animals that touched our hearts during 2013. Some survived seemingly insurmountable odds.

Others brought joy to others, simply by being themselves. 

These are the stories and photo galleries 9NEWS viewers clicked on the most in 2013.


1. "Elk has a fun time on a trampoline"

A 9NEWS viewer sent in a share-worthy video he caught in his Evergreen backyard on Nov. 4.

Greg Chase said he and his wife were just sitting down for their morning coffee when they spotted the curious elk testing out their trampoline.

And of course, we only say the elk had a 'fun' time because the animal made it out safely. 

2. "Amorous moose falls for Grand Lake statue"

The community of Grand Lake was the beginning of a love affair between moose and ... metal?

The week of Jun. 3, the animal and a neighbor's front yard statue became an unofficial tourist attraction.

9NEWS viewer Bob Balink sent in the photo you just have to see to believe.

3. "Dog raises abandoned puppies as her own"

The story of a litter of puppies dumped in a park's trash can first captured our hearts on May 21, but it wasn't until a few weeks later that we really melted.

That's when we met Keyna, a 5-year-old Australian shepherd, who was raising the puppies as her own in a foster home in Bennett.

The dogs did find a happy ending with new homes two months later. 

4. "Four-legged friends offer comfort at Arapahoe High School"

Following the Dec. 14 tragedy at Arapahoe High School, two furry volunteers set up outside the school at the growing memorial for Claire Davis.

Emerson and Jake, two golden retrievers who love to give hugs, have traveled the United States offering just what some people need during the most trying times.

5. "World's first bionic dog steps up to the challenge"

There isn't much Naki'o, a 2-year-old red heeler mix, can't do. He just might do it a bit differently than your average canine.

We met him during a rehabilitation visit in Denver with his four newly-fitted prosthetic paws on May 3, and his positive spirit was contagious.

6. "Dog with a 'Kandu' attitude gets new sister"

A family who gave hope to a small dog with no front paws, plans to do the same to a kitten named Noella.

She was born with a neurological disorder that prevents her from walking (for now). On June 30, Noella found her new home.

7. "Adult day care welcomes special guest"

Her name is Carmella, and she may be small, but she has a big impact on those she visits.

On July 7, 9NEWS learned just how powerful a mini-horse could be at cheering up senior citizens in a care facility in Longmont.

8. "Socks the horse patiently waited out flooding"

One of the most memorable images of the Colorado flooding was of a lone horse standing in a field as flood waters rushed around him.

9NEWS viewers called, e-mailed, tweeted, and asked us on Facebook, where was that horse? Was he going to be okay?

A few days after floodwaters had receded enough, on Sept. 19, 9NEWS met Socks the horse, who was doing just fine.

9. "Henry the Chihuahua, once abused, now has home"

9NEWS viewers clicked on Henry's slideshow tens of thousands of times, making him one of 2013's most popular animal stories.

Henry was rescued after being chemically burned, shot with a BB gun, and abused by owners in New Mexico.

A Colorado animal rescue took him in, and in Dec., Henry found a new, loving owner in Denver. 


Goats rescued along Big Thompson

Miraculous birth at animal shelter

Bunnies rescued after floods

Cat survives 40 days after the floods in Jamestown

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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