WATCH ABOVE: Jeremy Triantafilo says his cat Tara is a hero after she rescued him from a dog attack on Tuesday. Robin Gill has the story.
The video of 4-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo being mauled by a neighbourhood dog is shocking, but watching him be rescued his cat is unforgettable.
Tara, the heroic tabby, ran and jumped into action to chase away the dog after it snuck up on Jeremy, while he played on his bicycle in front of his Bakersfield, Calif. home Tuesday afternoon, and violently bit his leg.
“Tara’s my hero. She rescued me,” Jeremy told the local CBS affiliate on Wednesday, after the video of the attack and rescue went viral.
Jeremy’s mother, Erica Triantafilo, told CBS she saw the Tara “hitting the dog,” but didn’t quite see just what the cat did to save the boy.
Not only did Tara slam the 8-month-old labrador-chow mix and chase it off, she turned back to check on Jeremy, Erica explained.
Erica was just a short distance away, watering a tree, when the attack began.
The whole thing was caught on the family’s security cameras. Jeremy’s father Roger Triantafilo posted the video on YouTube: The clip has now gotten more than 7.2 million views since it was posted on Wednesday.
“The police officer and I both commented… like ‘Wow, we’ve never seen a cat do that before,” Roger said.
“It just shows how much she really has a family-oriented mind set,” he told KERO Bakersfield.
The neighbour, who had been pulling out of her gated driveway when the dog escaped, called 911 and later voluntarily surrendered the canine to animal control. It’s now being quarantined and will be put down.
Erica could be heard screaming at the dog in audio of the 911 call, posted on KERO’s website.
Jeremy was taken to a local hospital to have his wounds stitched up and was sent home to recover.
Some people commenting on Roger’s YouTube post asked why Erica is seen running away from Jeremy after Tara chased the dog off.
“After checking his wounds she made sure the dog did not return for a second attempt. The owners were there also and she was bit by the dog as she tried to pin him in his yard,” he wrote.
“The owners did get control of the dog and secured him in which she immediately returned to attending to our son. I did not include that video because it was not so much about the dog but about the cats actions.”
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