It was the first time ever that the award was given to a cat. The Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had to scratch out “dog,” and etch “cat” on the trophy instead.
It was a little over a year ago that the brave tabby named 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 it from side-to-side. Tara chased the dog toward its home, and Jeremy, who is autistic, had to have eight stitches, but eventually fully recovered.
Of Tara, Jeremy said, “She is my hero.”
As the family’s home security camera caught the incident on film, Jeremy’s mom posted the video on YouTube with the title, “My Cat Saved My Son,” – to date it’s gotten over a million hits. You can watch here:
Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, noted, “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.” The shelter’s 33rd annual award was presented to the family in downtown L.A. on Friday, June 19.