LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- This year has been a year full of adorable - and at times bizarre - animal stories. From tough bulldogs to American Pharoah winning big, take a look back at our top seven stories of the year.
7. French bulldog scares off bears
Remember Jules the French bulldog? This feisty 20-pound ball of tough scared off two bears that tried to break into her owner's home in Monrovia.
Her bold barks made the bears quickly scamper off, even causing one to jump over the gate. Read the full story here.
6. Bears go for a swim in New Jersey pool
Looks like Momma, Pappa and their three baby bears couldn't wait to go on vacation and ended up taking a dip in a backyard pool.
A little girl, who is part of the New Jersey family that owns the pool, said the bears were messing with her floaties, and she wasn't too happy about it. Maybe they should consider hiring Jules as a backyard guard.
5. Cute endangered critter photographed in rare sighting
A nearly extinct animal called the Ili Pika - known for its teddy bear face and bunny-like ears - was photographed 20 years after its discovery.
The adorable creature lives in China, and it is believed there are only a few hundred left in the world. Read the full story here.
4. Cat gets surprise trip on airplane wing
A cat surprised a pilot and passenger mid-flight on an open airplane in New Guinea.
In a video from the front of the aircraft, the cat is seen crawling toward the cockpit and then remained in place, hanging on the left wing.
The animal's high-flying adventure gave YouTubers a good laugh and has been viewed more than 18 million times. Read the full story here.
3. Weasel takes wild ride on woodpecker
An amateur U.K. photographer captured an incredible photo of a baby weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker in flight.
The image was not only amazing, but inspired hundreds of hilarious memes, including some featuring Vladimir Putin and Gandalf. Read the full story here.
2. American Pharoah becomes 1st Triple Crown winner in 37 years
American Pharoah became the first horse in 37 years to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. For good measure, he went on to win the Breeder's Cup Classic, becoming the first horse ever to win racing's "Grand Slam."
American Pharoah's jockey, Victor Espinosa, donated his prize money to the City of Hope Hospital, a local cancer treatment and research hospital.
1. Rat dragging pizza becomes viral sensation
And the No. 1 story is, of course, the infamous New York City Pizza Rat. A subway goer captured a video of a happy rat dragging a large slice of pizza down a flight of stairs.
The video went viral, became a hit Halloween costume and even inspired an epic prank. Some jokers built a remote-controlled pizza rat and sent it out on the streets of Manhattan. Read the full story here.
If there was an animal story we missed on our list, let us know in the comments below!