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Great Animal Rescues: Advocates Help Animals Across The World (PHOTOS)

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From the Canadian teacher who rescued stray dogs from Afghanistan to the Australian hospital workers who nursed nearly 100 baby fruit bats, poignant stories of animal rescue can be found all over the world.

These rescuers are exemplars of the human spirit -- people for whom kindness has conquered apathy, who've chosen selflessness over selfishness.

Unfortunately, sometimes animal rescue stories don't have the happiest endings. An animal hospice owner in upstate New York whose facility had been promoted by Oprah and Rachael Ray was recently charged with animal cruelty after an undercover investigation.

If you can't get enough of these rescued animals, click here for more stories of heartwarming animal rescues in 2011, .

For more information about how you can be an animal hero, visit the ASPCA's website. Also, check out Petfinder.com for information on pet adoption.

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