Pit Bull Heroes


Over the course of the production for the documentary film, “Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent,” we have collected and archived stories from newspaper and news station websites that displayed “Pit Bull” dogs doing courageous things to save “Man” and animals alike from imminent danger. It’s no secret there is a bias when it comes to how media outlets report on this type of dog. The same people who “viciously” condemn these dogs, can’t ignore the heroics they have played in society. These are some examples of where a “Pit Bull” dog went above and beyond the call of duty our four-legged (typically, at least) best friends usually provide. The only requisite for these stories is they had to come from a newspaper or news stations website. (In the event that the link is moved or becomes broken, we took screen shots of each)

Saving Life:

01/28/2005 – Savannah, Georgia; “Otis” saves family from house fire. [1]

07/26/2006 – Fort Collins, Colorado; “Destiny” saves 9 year old boy from abductor. [2]

02/12/2007 – Philippines; “Chief” dies protecting two woman from cobra (original story has been removed, but references where it was found at bottom of article). [3]

06/02/2007 – Jackson, Mississippi; “Pepper” saves family and 4 other dogs from house fire. [4]

07/07/2007 – Queens, New York; “Blue” saves 7 seven year old girl from sexual predator. [5]

07/08/2007 – Another story about “Blue” (see above)

12/13/2007 – Sydney, Australia; “(Unnamed “Pit Bull” mix)” saves boy from drowning. [6]

05/20/2008 – Jamestown, New York; “Lily” saves owner from attacking boyfriend. [7]

08/20/2008 – Reno, Nevada; “Angel” saves litter of kittens.[8]

12/06/2008 – Warrensville, South Carolina; “Maximus” stabbed to death defending owner. [9]

12/15/2008 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; “D-boy” takes three bullets and saves family from intruder. [10]

12/17/2008 – New City, New York; “Kola” chases burglar, gets hurt and is missing. [11]

02/19/2009 – Southbridge, Massachusetts; “Chaos” alerts 11 people of house fire, perishes. [12]

03/04/2009 – Brooklyn, New York; “Ace” alerts family of house fire. [13]

03/28/2009 – Alexandria, Virginia; “Jasmine” alerts family from house fire. [14]

04/10/2009 – Holland, Michigan; “Blitz” saves woman from assaulting husband. [15]

05/21/2009 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; “D-boy” wins valor award for his heroics (original hero story from 12/15/2008).

07/10/2009 – Bradenton, Florida; “(unnamed “Pit Bull”)” saves family from attempted robbery. [16]

03/20/2010 – Kirkland, Washington; “Victor” saves owner from car jacker.[17]

1603/23/2010 – Another story about “Victor” (see above)

05/04/2010 – Los Angeles, California; “Diamond” saves family from house fire. [18]

07/08/2010 – Bristol, Indiana; “Thor” saves family from house fire. [19]

07/08/2010 – Another story about “Thor” (see above)

07/09/2010 – Another story about “Thor” (see above)

07/29/2010 – Canyonville, Oregon; “Grizzly” wakes up family and saves them from house fire. [20]

07/29/2010 – Another story about “Grizzly” (see above)

08/02/2010 – Littleton, Colorado; “(2 Unnamed “Pit Bulls”)” save a Chihuahua from coyote attack. [21]

08/20/2010 – Southbridge, Massachusetts; “Princess” gets stabbed numerous times saving owner from attack by boyfriend. [22]

09/19/2010 – Lumberton, North Carolina; “(Unnamed “Pit Bull”)” saves family from house fire, perishes. [23]

11/06/2010 – New York City, New York; “Layla” detects traces of peanuts as a service dog to a child who has severe, life threatening allergies to them. [24]

11/26/2010 – “Abby” (and Callie the Bassett Hound) save 4 year old girl from fox attack. [25]

12/01/2010 – Another story about “Diamond” (see original hero story 05/04/2010)

12/23/2010 – Troy, New York; “Phoebe” saves kitten in a box. [26]

12/30/2010 – Gwinnett, Georgia; “(Unnamed “Pit Bull”)” saves owner from attacker/attempted rape. [27]

01/09/2011 – Another story about “Layla” (see original hero story 11/06/2010)

01/10/2011 – Another story about “Layla” (see above)

03/16/2011 – Los Angeles, California; “Diamond” wins hero dog award for heroics (original hero story from 05/10/2010).

05/04/2011 – Another story about “Diamond” (see above)

05/05/2011 – Another story about “Diamond” (see above)

05/06/2011 – Another story about “Diamond” (see above)

05/06/2011 – Another story about “Diamond” (see above)

07/27/2011 – “Cheyenne” saves military veteran from committing suicide. [28]

08/05/2011 – Colorado Springs, Colorado; “Layla” (and GSD brother, Jackson) saves human  3 year old brother from rattlesnake. [29]

08/06/2011 – San Francisco, California; “Baby” saves owner from house fire. [30]

09/07/2011 – Elyria, Ohio; “Cash” fends off attacker saving owners life. [31]

09/25/2011 – Carnegie, Pennsylvania; “Cobain” saves elderly woman. [32]

10/14/2011 – Jacksonville, Florida; “Man” gets shot by intruder saving owners life. [33]

10/23/2011 – Lawrenceville, Georgia; “Titan” saves owners life after she suffered from an aneurism. [34]

10/27/2011 – Another story about “Titan” (see above)

11/04/2011 – Houston, Texas; “Gypsie” alerts family of house fire. [35]

11/10/2011 – Another story about “Gypsie” (see above)

11/14/2011 – Chicago, Illinois; “(Unnamed “Pit Bull”)” credited with saving family from carbon monoxide leak. [36]

11/27/2011 – Louisville, Kentucky; “(Unnamed “Pit Bull”)” saves owners life from house fire. [37]

12/20/2011 – Sacramento, California; “(Unnamed “Pit Bull”)” credited with assisting police with an arrest. [38]

01/16/2012 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; “Diamond” saves owners life from house fire. [39]

01/22/2012 – Minneapolis, Minnesota; “Putz” protects woman when ex-husband tries to hit her. Sadly, this act of heroism cost Putz his life.

02/02/2012 – Canton, Texas; “Brownie” credited with keeping 3 year old girl safe, after wandering off. [40]

02/07/2012 – Dayton, Ohio; “Rella” (Cinderella) takes bullet and saves woman and son in domestic dispute. [41]

02/08/2012 – Chicago Ridge, Texas; “Moo-Moo” saves family from house fire. [42]

02/10/2012 – Las Vegas, Nevada; “Baby Doll” (and Chihuahua sibling) alert owner of house fire, perish. [43]

03/02/2012 – Vancouver, BC, Canada; “Rumble” takes bullet defending home from attempted burglary. [44]

04/04/2012 – Staten Island, New York; “Kilo” takes bullet from intruder protecting his home and family. [45]

04/04/2012 – Another story about “Kilo” (see above)

04/09/2012 – Fort Worth, Texas; “(Unnamed “Pit Bull”)” dies after getting shot protecting home from two intruders. [46]

04/12/2012 – Mount Olive, North Caroline; “Shorty” (3 legged “Pit Bull”) fends off attempted burglar. [47]

05/01/2012 – Edwardstown, South Australia; “Star” gets injured fighting off a would be thief. [48]

05/08/2012 – Shirley, Massachusetts; “Lilly” saves unconscious owner off train tracks. [49]

05/08/2012 – Another story about “Lilly” (see above)

05/08/2012 – Another story about “Lilly” (see above)

05/09/2012 – Another story about “Lilly” (see above)

05/09/2012 – Another story about “Lilly” (see above)

05/12/2012 – Another story about “Lilly” (see above)

05/13/2012 – Another story about “Lilly” (see above)

05/31/2012 – Hainesville, Illinois; “Casper” takes bullet meant for teenager from suspected gang member. [50]

06/05/2012 – Berkeley Township, New Jersey; “Lilly” saves unconscious owners life by alerting good Samaritan. [51]

06/27/2012 – Spokane, Washington; “Guardian” shot three times protecting family and home. [52]

07/08/2012 – Holland, Ohio; “”Saint” saves owner from falling tree during a storm. [53]

07/09/2012 – Shreveport, Louisiana; “Bully” gives/donates blood to help save other dogs. [54]

07/21/2012 – Boston, Massachusetts; hero “Lilly” is recovering from injury in saving owner, also will receive “Animal Hero of the Year” award from the MSPCA (original story hero story on 05/08/2012).

07/23/2012 – Lawrenceville, Georgia; “Titan” receives hero award, “Dogs of Valor” (original hero story on 10/23/2011).

07/23/2012 – Staunton, Virginia; “Boss” took a bullet from armed robbers and protected family from danger. [55]

08/08/2012 – Memphis, Tennessee; Highlights two previous Pit Bull heroes from our past list – Stormy and Bully.

08/15/2012 – Martinsville, Virginia; “Pearl” saves owners life from copperhead snake. [56]

08/17/2012 – Another story about “Pearl” (see above)

08/30/2012 – Randolph County, North Carolina; “Abby” helps law enforcement track down man who shot at deputies. [57]

09/03/2012 – Rock Hill, South Carolina; Two “Unnamed Pit Bulls” help owners escape from house fire and explosion. [58]


09/10/2012 – Ludington, Michigan; “Unnamed Pit Bull” nudges sleeping owner, to alert owner of house fire. [59]

09/12/2012 – Albany, New York; “Ming” alerts owner of house fire, saving family. [60]

12/04/2012 – Midvale, Utah; “Unnamed Pit Bulls” help in nabbing car theft suspect. [61]

12/19/2012 – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; “Unnamed Pit Bull” saves woman from armed robber. [62]


01/14/2013 – Loganville, Wisconisn; “Unnamed Pit Bulls” saves owner from gas leak in home. [63]

02/13/2013 – Wellston, Oklahoma; “Baby” alerts family of house fire, all nearly escape. [64]

02/14/2013 – Another story about “Baby” above.

03/17/2013 – Boonville, Indiana; “Cherry” a foster dog (who later was officially adopted) saves woman from fire. [65]

04/02/2013 – Eastpointe, Michigan; “Colby” saves owner’s life after he slipped in a diabetic coma. [66]

04/08/2013 – Fair Oaks, California; “Rubie” saves owner from potential attacker. [67]

04/08/2013 – Another story about “Rubie” (see above).

04/18/2013 – Millerton, Pennsylvania; “Cindy Lou” saves owner from house fire. [68]

04/21/2013 – Niles, Michigan; “Hector” credited with helping save four next door neighbor children from burning home. [69]

07/05/2013 – United Kingdom; “Midi” credited with saving school girl from attacker. [70]

07/10/2013 – Yonkers, New York; “Nala” credited with saving the lives of two families after alerting of fire. [71]

07/18/2013 – Escambia County, Florida; “Family Pit Bull” saves woman from attack by other dog. [72]

07/30/2013 – Accomac County, Virginia; “Unnamed Pit Bull” shot after saving family from an intruder. [73]

07/30/2013 – Another story about “Unnamed Pit Bull” above.

09/24/2013 – East Dallas, Texas; “Unnamed Pit Bull” fends off home invasion. [74]

09/27/2013 – Tallahassee, Floriday; “Onyx” saves family from house fire. [75]

09/27/2013 – Another story about “Onyx” above.

10/07/2013 – Minneapolis, Minnesota; “Tatortot” credited with saving 4 year old. [76]

10/09/2013 – Another story about “Tatortot” above.

10/09/2013 – Another story about “Tatortot” above.

10/11/2013 – Seminole, Florida; “Jack” credited with saving family cat from coyote attack. [77]

11/12/2013 – Lakeland, Florida; “Brinleigh” credited with saving the life of her new owner from house fire. [78]

11/13/2013 – Edmonton, Canada; “Mercy” saves owner from violent attacker. [79]

12/17/2013 – Edmond, Oklahoma; “Diesel“called a hero after alerting family of house fire. [80]

12/26/2013 – Ranger, Tennessee; “Bella” credited with saving family from house fire. [81]

No Date – Shreveport, Louisiana; “Stormy” credited with saving family from house fire. [82]

No Date – “Baby” saves owner from house fire. [83]

Law Enforcement:

10/2002 – U.S. Customs; “Popsicle” retires from drug sniffing. (press release) [1]

01/25/2009 – Chicago, Illinois; “Elliot Ness” joins the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for cadaver sniffing. (press release) [2]

01/26/2009 – Another story about “Elliot Ness” (see above)

05/07/2010 – Seattle, Washington; “Neville” helps Washington State Patrol in drug and bomb sniffing. [3]

06/03/2011 – Milwaukie, Oregon; “Shaka” joins Milwaukie Police Department with drug sniffing. (press release)(video link) [4]

10/14/2011 – Mason County, Washington; “Kona” helps Mason County Sheriff’s Office in drug sniffing.

Therapy Dogs


Love-A-Bull – Austin, Texas; Group of therapy “Pit Bull” dogs visit children. [1]


Casey – St. Paul, Minnesota; “Pit Bull”/Lab-mix therapy dog helps with owners disabilities. [2]

Cody – San Diego/Los Angeles, California; born with a deformity, becomes certified therapy dog with plans of visiting physically challenged children. [3]

Elle – Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina; visits Roanoke Rapids Police Department to bring cheer and lift their spirits. [4]

Grant the Library Dog – Listens to children read to overcome fears. [5]

Gremlin – Cleveland, Ohio; visits nursing homes. [6]

Jasmine – Tampa Bay, Florida; visits assisted living residents. [7]

Leo – Mountain View, California; former Vick dog, visits cancer patients. [8]

Muffin – Burlington County, New Jersey; helps people heal. [9]

Nola – Crafton, Pennsylvania; Listens to children read. [10]

Ruby – Minneapolis, Minnesota; visits senior citizen homes (who now faces cancer). Also is featured in a book. [11]

Ruby – (see above).

Sarge – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; visits nursing homes (Sarge has since passed away). [12]

Sarge – (see above).

Stevie – Salt Lake City, Utah; visits people recovering from addictions. [13]

Search and Rescue

(Unnamed “Pit Bull”)” is Rhode Islands first Pit Bull in the State Police Search and Rescue Disaster Team. [1]

21 thoughts on “Pit Bull Heroes

  1. I love, love, love that you created this site. Can’t wait to spend time going through your list. Thank you so much for making this available. Look forward to future postings.

    • Thank you Virginia. We are still in the beginning stages of developing this site, and adding to the “Pit Bull” hero list. Definitely check out the stories we published already, but stay tuned for more additions.

  2. Please check out Gremlin on FaceBook. She is a wonderful Therapy Pit Bull Ambassador. She and her dad Chris Hughes started Thera-Pits an reading and other activities group to help the school children in Ohio with their reading and go to hospitals to help cancer patients and others. Chris and Gremlin Travel around promoting the Breed in a positive manner and Gremmies smile is so famous she is on the cover of Life and Dog magazine as well as having been in it for various articles in the past.Check out Sadie the wonder bull who hikes for corporate monies to save national parks. If she keeps her schedule this year she and her Moms will by the end of the year have hiked over 1400 miles.There are so very many Pit Bull type dogs out there breaking down the wall of BSL with their good deeds and charitable behavior. I’m sure you could find enough stories to do a feel good piece on breed ambassadors every week for forever. In fact it might be fun to see the good stories vs. the bad stories ( yes, there will be some due to owner idiotitis). Thank You for your take on the situation and for promoting Pit Bulls in a true and factual manner. Stephanie

    • Thank you Stephanie. We are still updating the entire “Pit Bull” hero list, and Gremlin is one of the ones we are still adding. I actually live in Cleveland, and am friends with Gremlin’s dad, Chris Hughes of Rowdy to the Rescue and Thera-Pits, so she is definitely going to be up there soon. We didn’t think the site would be found yet, and there is still lots to do before we officially make it public, so please check back later.

      • oops, missed this. nevermind on the Gremlin questions. Dude seriously, how could you think this wouldn’t get found..haha. The pibble owners and defenders are tenacious is hunting down anything about pibbles. ❤

  3. You can also add the Search and Rescue pit bulls like Dakota which helped after the shuttle break up over Texas. There are also numerous Service dogs under the Americans with Disabilities Act which allow their handlers to live a more normal live, such as my own Princess Fiona who not only helps me deal with social anxiety but also rescued me from being a victim of the media hype when she showed up on my doorstep as a stray. Without her I would be a hermit in my home.

    • Yes, thank you Charles. The list is not completed (nor is the site obviously). We are still updating that section and adding more pages…stay tuned.

  4. It is wonderful to finally see a site that will give these fantastic dogs the good press coverage that is so sadly lacking. I have a rescue pit that is the sweetest…she is so calm and loving, I love pit bulls and hate the bad rap they always get. Keep up the good work! Thank you very much!!

  5. we need to publish these stories every day to remind people the good these dogs do not just the bite cases people need to know that these dogs are willing to lose limbs and their lives for a human and in some cases thoughs humans have abused them and they still come back to save their lives these dogs are amazing i know mine is

  6. Great job everyone!
    I didn’t realize you had a therapy dog section. I have 5 certified, and have been working with my Pit Bulls in therapy dogs work since 1998. I’d love to have them included. Please let me know how…

  7. I read the story about the Air Force guy and his Puppy stopping him. The story hit home for me. I did not have a gun. My pitbull Buck jumped into the bath tub with all the red water and started licking my face and making funny sounds He would not get out or stop till I changed my mind and covered my wrists. He still had part of the icing on his nose from my B-Day cake. I made it for a party and no one showed called or email me to say happy b-day. I tryied calling to talk to many people and no one would talk or pick up the phone. It was a bad day for me. Now when I feel down and out I sit and talk to Buck. Things feel better after I talk to him. When your at that lowest point and no one cares, Your dog will show that you are loved. Mine sure does love me and I love him with all my heart. I only told 4 people about this till tonight. This was over 2 years ago, I still have the scares from that nite.

  8. Hello fellow pibble lovers – it’s so wonderful to read about the heroics of our beloved dogs!! I am teary reading of their love and accomplishments and also reading the comments on this page. Frankie is my hero and I’m happy to say he has changed the minds and perceptions of many people – he is a wonderful pit bull ambassador!!! He has his CGC and will soon be a therapy dog – visiting and sitting with children while they read. Thanks so much for this site, it’s made my day (or early morning(!!!

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