'Hero Dog' Award Goes to a Cat
But not even dogs would argue with this one
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 19, 2015 6:14 PM CDT
Madeline Bernstein, left, President of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Los Angeles, with Roger Triantafilo, Jeremy, Erica and Tara the cat.   (Richard Vogel)
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(Newser) – For the first time, a Los Angeles shelter's Hero Dog award has gone to a cat. In May 2014, Tara the cat fought off a dog that attacked her 6-year-old owner as he rode his bicycle in the driveway of the family's Bakersfield home. Tara body-slammed Scrappy, a chow-mix that lived next door, when the dog got out of his yard, ran for Jeremy Triantafilo, grabbed his leg, and started shaking from side-to-side. Tara chased the dog toward its home, and Scrappy was later euthanized.

Jeremy, who is autistic and had to have eight stitches, calls Scrappy a "bad dog," says his dad, Roger Triantafilo. "We were so impressed by Tara's bravery and fast action that the selection committee decided that a cat this spectacular should be the National Hero Dog," says Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles.