Swansea Jack was a black retriever who lived with his owner William Thomas near the River Tawe in Swansea, Wales, during the 1930s. One day, Jack saw a small boy drowning in the river and ran in, pulling the boy to shore by the scruff of his neck. There was no one around to see it, and had circumstances been different, the boy would probably have spent the rest of his life telling the story to people who would never believe him. But Jack wasn’t done. Within a few weeks, Jack rescued another swimmer, this time with witnesses in attendance. And then another. And another. And so on. Over the course of the next decade, Jack was reported to have saved at least 27 people from, presumably, the most dangerous river and docks in Wales.
For his efforts over the course of his lifetime, Jack was given a silver collar by Swansea council, the Bravest Dog of the Year Award, a silver cup from the Mayor of London, and his very own statue. That’s more accolades than your average Batman. And he’s still recognized today—he was probably the inspiration for the nickname of Premier League football team Swansea FC, “The Swansea Jacks.”