While dogs are commonly known to be emotionally intelligent creatures, generally possessing a sense of what’s right and wrong, pit bulls stand out as getting a bad rap in this department. Some people can’t help but cross the street when they see one coming their way. But this misconception is changing — sort of.
When one pit bull acted aggressively toward a woman in the land down under, people were quick to assume the dog’s behavior was par for the course. But as more details about the situation surfaced, many realized the dog’s motives might have been heroic.
On a sunny day in Moama, Australia, Buddy the pit bull was simply doing what dogs do. He chased butterflies, played with kangaroos (just kidding), and enjoyed being a lazy pooch. It was all fun and games until a questionable situation got him sniffing around.
The curious pup saw a 27-year-old woman somewhat-forcibly guide her two children to the border of the Murray River. Although he was just a furry four-legged pet, Buddy would soon be the hero that nobody saw coming.
Since Buddy had a loving family of his own, he knew what kindness and nurture looked like. As the children were brought closer to the river’s edge, they seemed to be in great distress, which made Buddy alert to what appeared to be a neglectful act.
What Buddy witnessed was downright heinous: the woman allegedly attempted to drown her two young children in the calm waters of the Murray! When the dog got the inkling that there was physical abuse being directed at children, he intervene.
The violent woman started with her older, 9-year-old son who struggled to free himself. Buddy ran to the scene, obviously determined to save the helpless boy who was stuck in the tight grip of his mother.
Buddy used his sharp teeth to grab onto the boy and successfully drag him away from the woman. But while Buddy had the 9-year-old in the safety of his custody, the murderous mother had already gotten her hands on her panicked 5-year-old.
Buddy then attacked the woman. Tragically, in spite of his best efforts, he got to her too late. The 5-year-old had already perished in the hands of his very own mother.
Soon enough, the police arrived to arrest the mother. She was initially charged with both murder and attempted murder but eventually was found not criminally responsible due to severe mental illnesses. She was then committed to the mental health unit at Silverwater jail.
Huffington Post Australia
Sadly, Buddy was then was seized by the local council. What’s odd is that there were contradicting versions of the perceived nature of Buddy’s behaviors during the incident. Because of this, what to do with the pitty was up in the air.
While New South Wales Police officers ordered Buddy to be seized, overall they sought to defend Buddy. The officers told the Murray River Council that the dog reacted to “extreme circumstances” and that he feasibly acted in “reasonable defense” of the 9-year-old boy.
Fairfield City Champion
When Buddy’s owners were notified of the tragic incident, they insisted that the dog would never cause anyone harm. The officers tried to make it apparent that they did not want the animal put down, but Buddy’s family wasn’t going to take any chances in the matter.
The pup’s owner, Jess Smith, started a Geopetition, which demanded Buddy be brought home. “Buddy is a member of our family and has grown up around children his whole life and has been the most gentlest dog, he has clearly seen a child in distress and attempted to help,” Jess asserted.
The grandfather of the children from the incident spoke of the calamitous events with The Courier-Mail, having spent much time with Buddy. “I own a similar dog and I know he was trying to save the boys, it’s their nature when they are raised with kids.”
“Let the ones who his actions affected decide. I have one grandson left because this brave dog took action as required,” the boys’ furious grandfather continued. He was willing to do whatever he could to help save the courageous Buddy.
It seemed that mostly everyone declared the Aussie mongrel a hero, as the Geopetition collected over 50,000 signatures. Buddy had amassed so much support, and an agreement was eventually made of the dog’s custody.
The council was pleased to announce the good news. “Since the incident, we have micro chipped the dog and are working with the dog’s owner to register the dog and set up the appropriate conditions to enable the dog to return home.”
Jess Smith and the rest of Buddy’s kin were ecstatic to soon have their heroic baby come home. “I just want to tell everyone that Buddy is coming home. He has a few things to get into place before he comes home, but the main thing is that he is coming home.”
i Still Love Dogs
Buddy even received praise from Dr. Chris Brown, the host of the Australian television series Bondi Vet. “He has clearly seen a child in distress and attempted to help, dogs don’t have hands to help like us humans, they have to use their teeth,” the famed veterinarian explained. Buddy was deemed a gentle, Australian hero.
But Dr. Chris Brown wasn’t done defending the gallant pitty. “To be able to sum up such a horrific situation and act heroically is something we consider to be a human quality. However, Buddy has shown that sometimes, pets really are the best people,” he sweetly declared.
Buddy the pit bull’s quick-witted actions only helped prove that dogs, including the pit bull breed, are not only sentient beings. In fact, Buddy’s actions land him on a long list of heroic pits.
Nana Chaichanhda of Stockton, California iinitially had reservations about bringing a pit named Sasha into her home. With her seven-month-old daughter Masailah, Nana was nervous about how the dog would behave around her baby girl.
aree rodriguez / Flickr
But Nana was convinced that, with the proper training, Sasha would grow to be the perfect playmate for Masailah. As it turns out, Nana’s intuition was completely right. The two became fast friends and were more or less inseparable.
With each passing day, the bond between Sasha and Masailah grew until the two became inseparable. In fact, Sasha was so protective of Masailah that the dog wouldn’t even let her take a bubble bath alone!
Now that Sasha had officially become part of the family, it wasn’t uncommon to find her snuggled up in bed alongside Nana and Masailah. But one fateful night, Nana decided to do things differently…
On June 6, 2018, Nana decided to let Sasha sleep outside in the backyard. Being that it was a warm summer’s night, Nana figured that the dog would enjoy getting out of the stuffy apartment and into the fresh air.
Soon after putting Sasha outside, Nana took Masailah to their bedroom and the pair was asleep within minutes. But it wasn’t long before Nana was stirred awake by an unexpected sound: a dog barking.
Erika B. / Flickr
At first, Nana wrote off the barking as that of a neighbor’s dog. After all, Sasha had never been one to bark, especially as loud as the dog outside.
But as the frantic barking continued, Nana knew that something was wrong. She hurried downstairs and threw open the back door, where her fears were confirmed.
Even when she was back inside the house, Sasha still wouldn’t calm down. It was like she was desperate to get Nana’s attention at all costs! When that didn’t work, Sasha tried another tactic…
Suddenly, the dog made a mad dash for the upstairs bedroom where Masailah was still sleeping. But before Nana could chase after her, the sight of something outside stopped her in her tracks.
To Nana’s horror, large flames were spewing out of the apartment complex next door. Worse yet, the blaze was quickly spreading toward her own unit!
Before she could even think, the fire had now reached her apartment complex and was growing rapidly. With only moments to spare, Nana rushed upstairs to save Sasha and Masailah.
When she reached the bedroom, Nana was stunned at what she found. Not only was Sasha completely calm in the face of such great danger, but she was trying to save Masailah as well!
Gripping the infant by her diaper, Sasha had managed to pull Masailah out of her crib and was carefully trying to drag her out of the room. Nana grabbed Sasha and the baby and dashed out of the apartment.
As soon as Nana and her family had safely left the building, she called 911. The fire department arrived within minutes, and after rescuing the remaining tenants in the apartment complex, they began fighting the massive fire.
It took several hours for firefighters to completely extinguish the blaze, but when the smoke finally cleared, the tenants were relieved to find that many of the units hadn’t suffered severe damage. However, the same couldn’t be said for Nana.
Because Nana’s apartment had been so close to the initial fire, her entire unit, and everything in it, was destroyed. With their home and their possessions lost, Nana and her family were forced to move in with her aunt. But that’s not all…
The Orange County Register
Nana’s aunt’s apartment building didn’t allow pets, so Sasha had to be separated from Masailah and kept with another family member. Even though Nana brings Masailah to visit often, it’s clear that Sasha really misses her best friend.
Since the fire, a GoFundMe campaign was started in order to help Nana and her family rebuild their lives. They’re still trying to pick up the pieces of what they once had, but Nana knows that without Sasha, she and Masailah wouldn’t be here today.
“Without her, we probably would’ve never made it out,” Nana said of her heroic dog. “I owe Sasha my life… she saved us all. She is our hero.”
Not every dog is like Sasha, and the DeLuca family learned this in a recent scare of their own. While the kids were playing in the pool, their newly adopted German Sheppard aggressively lunged at one of the little girls.
After Adam and Donya DeLuca took in a two-year-old German shepherd named Haus from a shelter in Tampa, Florida, they quickly realized that he was a very special dog…
As Donya told Today, “He just bonded with all of us so quickly, it was like he was always part of our home.” Even the neighbors loved Haus. In all respects, he was the perfect family dog.
One day, seven-year-old Molly was gathering toys in the backyard with Haus by her side. Her grandmother watched from the doorway of the screened-in pool. That’s when she saw Haus act in a way that would forever change the family’s perception of him.
Haus was acting suspiciously, and it was terrifying. “He kept jumping back and then forward,” Donya demonstrated for WFLA. “And he did it three times.” Of course, Donya’s mother, watching from a distance, feared the worst. A young German shepherd, new to the family, moving aggressively around a little girl? That was a recipe for disaster.
The grandmother’s story, as relayed by Donya to various news outlets, was that she “didn’t even realize what he [Haus] was staring at—but then all of a sudden there was all of this blood” covering the dog. In a panic, the grandmother called Donya, who could hear Molly crying in the background. What happened? Did Haus viciously attack Molly?
The truth, however, was quite surprising. As they picked up toys on the far side of the yard, Molly and Haus had come face-to-face with a deadly Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. Coiled and angry, it struck at Molly—only to have Haus jump in the way instead. Tragically, his act of bravery came with an astronomical cost…
ltshears / Wikimedia
“He [had] instantly positioned himself between the snake and Molly,” Donya said. He could have run, but Haus’s protective instincts had him stand his ground, which allowed Molly to retreat to safety. With every bite, Haus suffered more and more. Afterwards, he was a mess.
After the attack, the poor pup could barely walk. He limped, drooled, and his head hung down, unable to move. He struggled to breathe and his leg hemorrhaged blood. If a 68-pound German shepherd suffered in that way, can you imagine what those bites would have done to little Molly?
Donya LaDuca via ABC News
Donya rushed home and immediately loaded Haus into the family car and sped to a veterinarian emergency care facility. With snake venom in his system, the brave pooch didn’t have much time…
Donya LaDuca va ABC
“What [a rattlesnake bite] can do is a lot of bad things,” veterinarian Danielle Pollio said. “It can cause problems with clotting, so they can bleed into the wound uncontrollably.” The Eastern Diamondback is the most venomous snake in all North America, and dogs who are bitten once have a mortality rate as high as 30 percent. Haus had been bitten three times.
Within minutes of the attack, Haus’s symptoms had already accelerated exponentially. When he reached the medical facilities, doctors gave him nine vials of antivenin. But they weren’t as effective as they needed to be to save the pooch’s life…
Instead of injecting Haus with individual vials, doctors set him up with an IV drip of antivenin and administered painkillers. He received antivenin four times every day for four straight days. A typical treatment might only see one to two doses. Making matters worse, saving Haus was creating another problem that the DeLuca family couldn’t ignore…
If Haus was going to live, he would need some major intensive care—and that lead to astronomical medical bills that the DeLucas simply couldn’t afford. How could they pay to keep their beloved dog—and their daughter’s hero—alive?
That’s when a woman named Cherissa Vandergriff, whose relation to the DeLucas was unclear, stepped in. She set up a GoFundMe page for the family as a way to crowdfund all of the necessary medical payments for Haus’s care. In the plea for assistance, Cherissa wrote, “The vet treatment has been extremely expensive…”
Cherissa continued: “He’s been given multiple vials of anti-venom. The vet bills are already at $10,000 and the treatment is not finished. His vitals are strong, his organs are functioning, and if they can afford enough anti-venom, he will recover with no ill-effects.” Would this be enough to save Haus?
Soon, donations were rolling in! In a matter of days, the family raised $51,329, far exceeding their $28,000 goal, and they had to actually shut down people’s ability to donate! Haus’s story had inspired nearly 2,000 people to contribute money!
Despite the pup’s severe wounds, doctors expected him to make a full recovery, which shocked Donya. “It’s semi-miraculous, his condition,” she said. “What keeps me going is how he still flicks his tail every time he sees me come into his kennel, even though I know he’s hurting.” That’s a dog who loved his family!
In the end, Haus received some great news. “We hope that Haus will get to go home today,” said his veterinarian, Jennifer Holm, on the May 18, 2016, episode of Good Morning America. “We are doing a couple more checks on him early this afternoon, and fingers crossed, we hope that he will get to go home either today or tomorrow.”
When the LaDuca family adopted Haus, they likely expected they’d be gaining a best friend for the family. What they didn’t realize was that they’d be gaining a best friend who would save their children’s lives. Haus was a hero with four paws!
Donya LaDuca / ABC