Update May 15: According to 23ABC News, the dog in the video is an eight-month-old Chow and Labrador mix who belongs to the family’s neighbor. No one has reported further information on the state of the dog’s training or any known behavioral issues. The dog escaped from the yard while the neighbor was pulling out of their driveway. After the attack, the neighbor called 911. The dog will be held for observation and then euthanized. The cat in the video is named Tara and she was adopted by the family in 2008. Jeremy is the name of the little boy in the video and he has mild autism. Jeremy and his mother had just arrived home and his mother was watering a tree while Jeremy played.
I have to admit: I don’t really know what to say about this video, and that’s a big deal because I am a pretty opinionated person. I am also an advocate for cats, dogs, children, and for acknowledging the incredible responsibility it is to care for them. A responsibility that is not to be taken lightly.
So this video is really difficult, inspiring, and heartbreaking to watch. A Bakersfield, California, mother and her son were out enjoying the sunshine on their front lawn when the son was viciously attacked by a loose dog — and the home’s multiple surveillance cameras caught it on video. The dog’s attack seems pretty unprovoked and is extremely violent, but what could have been a tragic afternoon for everyone was abated by an unlikely hero. The family’s cat.
The video is below. It’s shocking to watch and contains some pretty graphic images of the boy’s injuries. Please exercise caution and discretion when viewing.
Lots of things went through my head while I watched and processed the video:
- Wow, this video totally debunks the stereotype that cats don’t feel love and loyalty for their human friends. This video demonstrates that cats can be fiercely protective companions. It also debunks the myth that cats are inappropriate pets for households with children.
- Oh my God, that’s a pretty intense bite. I’m so glad the boy’s mother was there. I’m so glad the cat was there. I’m so glad the little boy is okay. I can’t believe that even on the most seemingly innocuous day, even if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing, something can still go horribly wrong.
- Why is that dog on the loose? Why did it attack the boy? What kind of irresponsible owner doesn’t try to positively correct behavior like that or doesn’t better maintain his or her dog? The biggest tragedy here is the dog, who was probably neglected or abused to this point — another victim of our cavalier approach to dogs.
The dog is in custody and being observed by authorities. I’m glad the boy is okay and that the cat was his savior, and I hope whatever happens to the dog is in the dog’s best interest and takes into account how owner neglect might have factored into this incident.
The video is timely considering that next week is Dog Bite Prevention Week, so with that in mind, we’d like to recommend further reading on dog bites over at Dogster.
Read about dogs in the news on Dogster:
- Would “Candy’s Law” Solve the Problem of Cops Killing Dogs?
- What Do You Do During a Tornado When Your Dog Is Barred from the Storm Shelter?
- In One Touching Video, An Alzheimer’s Patient Speaks Again — To the Family Dog
About Liz Acosta: Dogster’s former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site’s daily “Awws,” only now she also wrangles Dogster’s social media. That’s why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and — her personal favorite — Instagram. See ya there!