Jack Russells in the News!

A Jack Russell Terrier facing front, sticking its tongue out

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I don’t know about you, but we here at Best JRT just can’t get enough of seeing our favorite pups in the news. They’re always up to something interesting, whether it’s saving their owners from a fire, causing chaos at the Crufts international dog show, or giving big cats a run for their money, the Jack Russell always manages to make a splash.

What have they been up to lately? Let’s have a look.

Call 911 for Billy

Billy’s owner, Carol Willacy of Fleetwood, Lancashire, in the United Kingdom adopted Billy as a pet. But it didn’t take long before Billy’s calling as a service dog became apparent.

Willacy suffers from several serious medical conditions, including asthma, arthritis and degenerative disc disease.

Not long after Willacy adopted Billy, Billy showed a knack for predicting her arthritis flare-ups. Willacy told Metro that Billy would use his body to provide warmth when her back was hurting.

After a while, Willacy began to wonder if Billy could make a career of it. She sent him off for six weeks of service dog training, and it really paid off. After his return, Billy saved Willacy’s life three times.

Billy is a tricolor Shorty Jack, much like this one.

The first time happened in the middle of the night. Willacy woke, unable to breathe. She tried to sit up, but it was so dark, she couldn’t find the side rail of her bed. She began to panic. But then, amazingly, Billy figured out how to turn on the light. Her panic abated, and she was able to breathe again.

When Willacy slipped on a patch of ice and knocked herself cold, Billy licked her face to bring her around. Temperatures were freezing that day, and who knows how long she might have lain outside in the cold?

And once, when Willacy passed out while gardening, Billy ran to Willacy’s carer’s house to fetch the carer. To Willacy’s knowledge, her plucky Jack Russell hadn’t even known where her carer lived! But when Billy arrived, he ran back and forth in front of the house until the carer followed him back to Willacy to help her.

That’s a lot of hero in a small package!

A Hero to Cats

Common wisdom tells us that cats and Jack Russell Terriers aren’t natural allies. Jacks were bred to chase down small animals, after all, and there is no shortage of stories where, when a cat activates a Jack’s formidable prey drive, it doesn’t end well for the cat. (Except in the case of big cats, but that’s another story altogether).

Still, plenty of Jacks do get along with kitties. And Leo, a Jack Russell Terrier from Melbourne, Australia, loves his kitties a lot.

How much? Well, when the house where Leo and his four kitten friends lived caught on fire in the middle of the night, Leo refused to leave with the rest of the family.


Well, when firefighters entered the house, they found Leo unconscious — and under him were his four kittens! He had lain down to protect them from the fire.

But don’t worry! Leo was fine, and so were his kittens.

You can watch the story from Australian news below.

A Russian Hero

Our next story comes from St. Petersburg, Russia.

One day in June of 2019, Macho the Jack Russell Terrier was taking his owner for a walk in the park. Suddenly, Macho changed course. He started pulling his owner toward the bushes in a deserted area of the park.

His owner resisted, but Macho held firm. And we all know how strong-willed a Jack Russell can be!

What did Macho find? A tiny, newborn baby girl that had been abandoned by her parents.

The girl weighed just five pounds. By the time Macho found her, she had cried for so long, she could no longer make a sound, but she was waving her arms and legs, nonetheless.

Macho is a tan and white wire haired JRT much like this one.

Officials took the baby to a hospital, where, five days later, she was strong and healthy, and hospital staff were confident she would recover from her ordeal.

Still, a spokesperson for the Russian National Guard said that without Macho’s intervention, the little girl would probably have perished.

It is expected that Macho will receive a reward for his heroism. And it will be well deserved!

Downing Street Dog

The Queen has her Corgis, and Meghan Markle has her beagle Guy. But now there’s someone new moving into the Prime Minister’s home.

The Associated Press reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has adopted a Jack Russell Terrier!

The Prime Minister’s new pup has the tentative name of Dilyn, which means “follow” in Welsh. We also know that Dilyn is male, a fifteen month old puppy, and a rescue from the Friends of Animals charity in Wales.

Specifically, Dilyn was rescued from a puppy mill. Ending puppy mills is a particular goal of Friends of Animals. Hopefully Johnson’s adoption of a puppy mill rescue will help to bring attention to this important cause.

A representative of the charity told the Associated Press, “This little man will want for nothing in his life, what could be better than that?”

Still, we here at Best JRT are curious what Larry the Downing Street Cat might have to say about that.

The Always Newsworthy JRT

No matter where you look, Jack Russell Terriers are grabbing the headlines. Who’s your favorite famous Jack?

Featured Image: CC BY 2.0 by Jared Wong, via Flickr

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