A Connecticut family's beloved pit bull is paying the price for saving the 11-year-old girl he loves.
When Savannah Vanese, 11, was outside in her family's chicken coop, their pit bull, Tank reportedly noticed something in the coop that put her life in danger: a raccoon, reports WTIC-TV. The dog, who is barely 2 years old in human years, reportedly began barking wildly and ran into the chicken coop.
Tank and the raccoon began fighting and the dog was reportedly scratched in the face. Tank ultimately killed the raccoon -- but that wasn't the end of their troubles.
The raccoon tested positive for rabies, which meant Tank could have been infected -- and could have infected his family.
The pit bull is being quarantined for six months and Savannah is unable to see him because of her age, WTIC-TV notes.
"Basically, we're waiting to see if he gets any symptoms because the only way to test him is to euthanize him," Savannah's father, Chris Vanese, told WTIC-TV, "so we're trying to avoid that step and give him a fair chance. It's the least I could do for saving my daughter."
In the meantime, the Vanese family has been receiving rabies shots as a precautionary measure. So far, Tank hasn't shown any symptoms of rabies.
"If we have to put him down, he'll die as a hero," Savannah said. "I'll know that he died for saving me, my family and my chickens."