What Can We Learn from The “Hero Cat” Story?

It’s not often you see or hear of a cat defending its owners, as opposed to dogs, but that is what happened in California earlier this week when a 4-year-old boy on his family’s driveway was attacked by his neighbor’s dog. The brave feline full-on body-slammed the dog away from the child, causing the dog to retreat and the cat actually ran after him, the opposite interaction of what you normally expect between both animals. You can watch the entire video here:

Many questions have come out of this incident: What will happen to the dog? Who was responsible? Was the owner aware of the dog’s aggression? Should the dog have been restrained while outside? Should the owner be charged with assault? These are all things for dog owners to consider if they ever find their canines in this situation, particularly if a heroic cat or other presence isn’t around to prevent additional damage to a victim, particularly to a vulnerable kid.

Following the events that take place in the footage, the attacked child required several stitches, and the dog was placed under observation. According to California law, dog owners can actually be charged with assault if their pets attack neighbors, visitors or anyone else.

It’s safe to say this particular canine was generally aggressive prior to the attack. The child on his bike did nothing to tease or provoke the dog to attack based on what we clearly see, and the bite was vicious enough to warrant stitching even when the dog had less than five seconds to inflict damage. It’s clear the dog should’ve been watched or contained within its owner’s property either by an in-ground restraint or an invisible fence, and the owner should’ve been present to prevent an attack.

What dog owners should take from this instance is an example of what not to do with an aggressive dog. Typically, breeds that are well-brought-up don’t turn out to be so aggressive, and for all we know the owner of that particular dog has a history of animal abuse, but it would appear that this isn’t the first instance of this kind of behavior. Even if the dog has rabies, the owner could be held responsible for not having the dog vaccinated with regular visits to the vet. There are many ways this attack could’ve been prevented, and it’s a shame that this dog may be euthanized because of an absent and/or potentially abusive or negligent owner.

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