An astonishing video has shown the moment that a family’s cat came to the rescue of their four-year-old son after he was viciously attacked by a neighbor’s dog.
Jeremy Triantafilo was sitting on his bicycle outside his family’s home in Bakersfield, California on Tuesday when the dog escaped its home through an open gate and crept up on him from behind.
Surveillance footage, which Jeremy’s father uploaded to YouTube, shows the dog grabbing the boy’s leg and pulling him to the ground before violently shaking him with his teeth clamped tight.
Then suddenly, an unlikely hero bounds towards him – the family’s cat, Tara.
The video shows the fearless feline jumping on the dog with enough force to push him away from the boy. Tara then chases the dog away from the driveway with its leg between its tail.
Satisfied that the animal has left the area, she then returns to her family to check on Jeremy, who is being comforted by his mother, Erica, who had been nearby.
The neighbor, who had been pulling out of their gated driveway when the dog escaped, called 911 for the boy and his mother, KERO reported
The boy, who has mild autism, needed stitches to the deep wounds on his legs but is otherwise fine, his mother told the ABC affiliate.
‘Tara is my hero,’ Jeremy said, adding that she saved him from ‘a mean dog – I got an owie!’
The dog was taken by Bakersfield Animal Control. TMZ reported that it continued to be aggressive after it was captured and has been euthanized.
The encounter was caught on surveillance cameras outside the home and uploaded to YouTube by the boy’s father, Roger Triantafilo, on Wednesday.
‘My cat defends my son during a vicious dog attack and runs the dog off before he can do additional damage,’ Triantafilo wrote beneath the video. ‘Thankfully, my son is fine!’
He added to KERO: ‘I’ve never seen a cat do that. Especially ours. It just shows how much she really has a family-oriented mind set.’
The boy’s mother said on Facebook: ‘We aren’t upset with our neighbors, we’re just thankful our son wasn’t injured more… Our cat is my hero!’
‘Whoever said cats don’t love their owners!’ one YouTube viewer said.