When a Tennessee woman was assaulted on the street with a knife, a pit bull intervened on her behalf. For his trouble, the courageous canine was stabbed repeatedly by the attacker and nearly succumbed to his wounds. After recovering from his grievous injuries, he was adopted by a loving family and given the suitable name of "Hero."
In August 2016, a stray pit bull heard a commotion as he ambled down the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee. A woman was being attacked by a man wielding a knife. As if by pure instinct, the dog leapt onto the scene, shielding the woman from her attacker, according to Shareably.
The dog was was stabbed five times while defending the woman, whom he had no prior attachment to.
The two police officers who responded to the attack brought the wounded pit bull to a local veterinarian. He came close to death twice during surgery, but was able to recover despite deep stab wounds into his body. The stray was given the name Hero for his selfless actions.
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Hero's brave feat drew the attention of Carla Welch, a Tennessee woman who founded the Fighting for Bullys Pit Bull Rescue, a non-profit organization that fosters pit bulls for adoption.
"I thought he was very courageous and brave," Welch said. "He was totally a stranger to these people."
Welch footed the bill for Hero's medical expenses through online fundraising and by September 2016, she had arranged for his adoption into the Simpson family based in Maryville, Tennessee.
"I'm really excited to give someone who's never had a home, a home, and I say someone because dogs to me are more than just dogs," Sarah Simpson, Hero's new owner, told WATE. "They're people. They're your family."
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Welch said that turning Hero over to a new home proved difficult after she had swiftly formed an attachment to the brave canine.
"We're bonded already and I try not to, but with this boy you can't help it," Welch said. "He's very amazing."
The pit bull foundation director added that Hero "has taken everything in stride. He's healthy and awesome now. ... He's just a great boy."
The non-profit Fighting for the Bullys currently offers adoption options for pit bull strays from Knoxville on their Facebook page.
Hero's actions bucked against the common perception that pit bulls are naturally violent. A history of being bred as fighting dogs and incidents of pit bull attacks have made many Americans fearful of the breed.
In 2014, a poll conducted by YouGov found that only 31 percent of national adults would consider adopting a pit bull while 50 percent would not. And 39 percent of respondents said that pit bulls were safe to live in residential neighborhoods, while 40 percent believed that they are too dangerous.