Time magazine catalogues the major animal stories of 2011 in its series of Top 10 year-end lists.
Among the ten top animal stories was this one, titled "Man's Best Friend - till the End," illustrated by one of the most moving images of the year.
It's the story of Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, 35, who was one of 22 SEALS and eight other Americans, who tragically lost their lives when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by Afghan insurgents in August.
At his funeral, Tumlinson's his beloved dog Hawkeye lay by his side.
Photographer Lisa Pembleton said it was the image she saw through her viewfinder throughout the ceremony. "I couldn't not take the picture," she said.
Among Time's other notable stories of the year: the mass slaying of wild animals in Ohio, the war dog that faced Bin Laden and the survival of zoos in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(Hat tip: Sis)