Expressive, talented and (relatively) well-behaved animals have held an important place in American television since its inception. Most of the time, these animals make guest or recurring appearances, although there have been a few shows that focused on a non-human main character.

Shows that instantly come to mind in the latter category include old favorites like "Lassie" and "Mr. Ed." This particular list will not include the title characters from those two shows, nor will it include any other animals/shows where the "star" of the series was not human.

No, instead we have decided to recognize the top 10 supporting animal characters (non-animated division). Some of the following appeared on a regular basis while others won us over in only a few episodes.

Regardless of how often they appeared, these top 10 TV animal characters deserve special recognition. And they shall receive it.

Digby - "Pushing Daisies"

Digby, Ned's (Lee Pace) dog, has played a vitally important role in this young series. Killed in a traffic accident when Ned was just a young boy, Digby was the first beneficiary of Ned's "gift." Despite the fact that Digby gained new life, he can never again feel the touch of his loving master, or he will die again. Thus there is a hint of tragedy in Digby's otherwise happy (second) life.

Digby is loyal, intelligent (he instantly understood that he could never touch Ned again, a fact that escapes all humans) and always expressive. Whether he is enjoying the attention of Ned's petting apparatus or consoling the lovelorn Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth), he steals whatever scene he appears in.

Lucky - "ALF"

Oh, Lucky. One day you had the run of the Tanner household and the next you found yourself an appetizing morsel for the world's favorite extraterrestrial. This cute, fuzzy, longhaired feline deserves a mention because many of the show's best jokes revolved around ALF's obsession with making himself a Lucky sandwich (or puree, or kebab, etc...). Tragically, Lucky eventually did perish, though it was not by ALF's hand. Surprisingly, ALF even respected the poor kitty's memory and elected not to chow down on the corpse.

He may have been tormented by ALF on a daily basis when alive, but the Luckster ended up getting the last laugh. Looking down from Cat Heaven, he was almost assuredly amused in the series finale when ALF got captured by the U.S. military. That's what you get for once referring to Lucky as a chicken-fried steak you bully!

Mr. Muggles - "Heroes"

This Pomeranian pooch deserves special recognition for his mad ups. There were those who became convinced that Muggles possessed some canine form of super power after his five- or six-foot vertical jump early in season two. Possible super powers aside, Mr. Muggles is still quite a scene stealer...and by far the most stable member of the Bennet family. He may be pampered and spoiled, but that doesn't make him any less awesome. And at least he doesn't perpetually pout like "I'm immortal, woe is me" Claire (Hayden Panettiere).

Backup - "Veronica Mars"

The name says it all. Veronica's (Kristen Bell) pet pit-bull was often all the backup that that the teenage sleuth needed. He was affectionate and lovable, but he could also be a no-nonsense "bad cop" of a partner when the situation required it. He often saved the day (or at least contributed to saving the day) and was once referred to by Veronica as "the only sane member of the Mars family." He definitely deserved to be on the payroll.