This Year’s Hero Dog Award Goes to… a Cat?

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles gives out the “Hero Dog” award every year; however, this year the winner was not a dog at all, reported Barbara Campbell of NPR.

Little boy hugging cat

Some of us might remember Tara, a Tabby from Bakersfield, CA. She was caught on camera saving 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo from danger. Young Jeremy was riding his bike in the driveway when the dog next door grabbed him by the leg.

Less than 2 seconds later, Tara came running into the scene. The fearless Tabby slammed herself into the dog and chased him away. Campbell reports, Jeremy needed 8 stitches in his leg, and as for Tara? “She is my hero,” said Jeremy.

Apparently others agreed and this year a cat took home the historically canine trophy along with the award, Tara also won a year’s supply of cat food.

While I’m glad Tara could be there for Jeremy, keep in mind that often times it is cats that are the target of outdoor attacks, and there is not always a hero to save them. Keeping your cat inside is the best way to protect her from many dangers.

Be Diligent about Vet Visits. “Don’t wait for the signs,” Dr. Becker stresses. Focus on “prevention first.” Pets age fast, and when it comes to illness they are programmed to mask weakness, “they’re naturally secretive.” One to two visits a year is ideal, but if you suspect a problem, don’t hesitate, and don’t self-diagnose. “In the last two years I’ve seen four or five cases where people went to the internet for help, and by the time they get to the vet it’s too late,” says Dr. Becker.

Cheers to you, Tara! Enjoy that cat food!

Click here to learn more about the importance to keeping your cat indoors with Dr. Ruth MacPete >>

Click here to read more about pets being heroes >>

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.