Pit Bull Heroes

November 9, 2011  

A look at some of the many pit bulls showing incredible courage and loyalty

By Ingrid Fromm

Sgt. Stubby is one of the most well-known hero pit bulls (and the dog this site is named after). During WWI, Sgt. Stubby alerted his unit to an impending gas attack. He later aided in the capture of a German spy. Sgt. Stubby was the first decorated canine war hero and was even awarded a Purple Heart after being injured by shrapnel.

Eleven-year-old Gary Watkins was chasing lizards when family pit bull, Weela, plowed into him with a body slam that sent him flying. Gary’s mother, Lori, saw the whole incident and remembers being surprised at first because Weela always played kindly with children. But her surprise quickly turned to horror when she saw a rattlesnake sink its fangs into Weela’s face. Weela had sensed the snake’s presence from across the yard and rushed to push Gary out of striking range. Weela recovered from her snake bite and went to save 30 people, 29 dogs, 13 horses and a cat when heavy rains caused a damn to break on the Tijuana River. Weela pulled more than 40 pounds of food across the water to feed animals and people that were stranded on an island for a month. For her heroism, Weela was named Ken-L Ration’s Dog Hero of the Year in 1993.

When Norton’s human mom, Ann, went into anaphylactic shock after getting bit by a spider while in her bathroom, the pit bull alerted Ann’s sleeping husband, Barrie. Norton wouldn’t stop barking until Barrie noticed an unconscious Ann in the bathroom. Ann later stopped breathing and spent two weeks in intensive care before she recovered. Norton was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame for his heroic act. Incidentally, before Norton was adopted by Barrie and Ann, he’d been cast away because he “wouldn’t fight.”

Darryl Steen says Diamond is a quiet dog, but on Oct. 24, 2010 at around 1:30 a.m., she woke him up, barking insistently. He got up and went into the living room. “My whole living room was engulfed in flames,” he said. Steen added that he and his daughters escaped with only the clothes on their backs. Steen said he thought Diamond had died in the fire. She suffered serious injuries including nerve damage to one leg and burns to 30 percent of her body. In May 2011, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles presented Diamond with their 29th Annual National Hero Dog Award. Afterward, Steen had trouble finding affordable housing that would allow his pit bull but vowed to continue the search.

In 2000, Buddy the pit bull helped save his guardian, Barbara Tollison, and her sister from a house fire. Barbara awoke to the fire and woke up her sister, who was visiting. Barbara fled the house with Buddy not knowing that her sister, who suffers from arthritis, was moving more slowly and had become disoriented. Buddy rushed back into burning house and cried from the sister’s room for help. Barbara followed Buddy, and all three made it out alive.

Two armed men broke into Melissa Willis’ home. The men pointed a gun at her while her son stood behind her. Weezie, their male pit bull, immediately came to the rescue. Weezie was growling, barking and snapping at the men while he placed himself between his family and danger. With every advance by the men, Weezie pushed his family backwards until they were to the exit. Weezie kept the armed robbers focused on him so his family would be safe.

In July 2011, Kathryn Bales and her service dog, Bonnie, were involved in a serious, roll-over car accident in Nevada. They were both trapped in the car. Kathryn had to order Bonnie out of the car, as she did not want to leave Kathyrn’s side. As Bonnie, still suffering the shock of the accident, crawled out of the car, Kathryn gripped her service harness and ordered Bonnie to pull. Bonnie successfully pulled them both free from the damaged vehicle.

John Benton was getting ready to leave for work one day in July 2011 when his pit bull, Titan, started blocking the doorway. Benton says Titan wouldn’t let him leave; he kept running in circles and up a few stairs and back down, barking the whole time. John followed Titan upstairs and found his wife, Gloria, on the floor with her head bleeding. They later discovered out she had suffered from a brain aneurysm and had fallen and fractured her skull. John said doctors told him if Titan hadn’t alerted him that Gloria was in trouble, she might have not survived. Titan was later honored as “Neighbor of the Year” by the Vintage Pointe Neighborhood Association. He is the first dog to receive this honor.

And Many More …
Not surprisingly to pit bull lovers, there are too many pit bull heroes to mention them all here: There’s Chief, an American Pit Bull Terrier, who dashed in front of a venomous snake that was poised to strike at 87-year-old Liberata la Victoria and her granddaughter, Maria Victoria. Shielding the women from the attack, Chief saved them but died minutes later from the snake’s bite. Then there’s Destiny, who came to the aid of a 9-year-old boy as a stranger allegedly was pulling him over the fence. The dog charged the assailant, who let go of the boy and fled, according to the family. And there’s Purple, a woman’s pit bull who bit an assailant in her home who was trying to rape her, giving the woman enough time to flee the attacker.

Indeed, there are countless stories about pit bulls being heroes for their guardians, other animals or even strangers – the stories featured here and dozens more. There’s no doubt about it: Our best friends are also true American heroes.

« « StubbyDog Hero: Stacey Coleman | Stating His Case » »


4 Responses to “Pit Bull Heroes”
  1. Stories are wonderful, each story makes me love my pitties more and more!!

  2. woofslc says:

    Great story Ingrid, love this 🙂

    • StubbyDog says:

      @woofslc Thanks Melissa, the hard thing was figuring out which ones not to include, there were so many. 🙂

  3. patriciahill says:

    There are so many people who are against pit bulls.They have never owned one or been around one.When people ask how I could trust my pit bull with my grandchildren-I tell them that their Aunt has 4 legs to keep up with their little feet..She is such an important part of our lives I don’t know what we would do without her.From her beautiful blue eyes to her wet kisses to her long sighes she is all love and kindness,but don’t think you can mess with her babies(My grandchildren)cause that won’t happen.We just love our WHISKEY GIRL.