Keith is enroute to North Dakota to speak at NDAJ’s Spring Conference on truck broker liability, so I get to do some of the blogging while he’s away. And wouldn’t you know it would get to be about cats?  This Crazy Cat Lady smells sweet vindication in the air.

Let’s get the story and I’ve got video below, too. So far, the cat is nameless, but social media is calling him/her #HeroCat. The family’s little boy was riding his scooter in the driveway, just feet away from his mother, when a neighbor’s dog came around the car and grabbed the boy by his leg shaking him violently.  Mom runs towards the attack, but #HeroCat reaches the scene first and attacks the dog, driving him away from the little boy.  The cat then proceeds to chase him around the car, sees that the dog leaves, then runs back to the little boy who by then is safely in his mother’s care. More after the video . . . warning, it’s not graphic, but it is disturbing.

Thankfully, the boy is going to be fine, but he did suffer some pretty bad bite wounds that required stitches.

While it’s a great testament to cats, the bonds between humans and animals, and the niftiness of home security cameras, this incident is also a reminder that dog owners must be aware of their obligations and liability under the law.  This dog apparently belonged to a neighbor. California has a strict leash law and the dog should have been confined to its yard or on a leash.  There is a dog owner facing manslaughter charges in California right now because their dog was not confined/leashed and mauled and killed a neighbor.

In Tennessee, the dog bite law changed in 2007 and we have the whole story and the result.  Basically, now dog owners are responsible financially and legally for the injuries caused by their dog regardless of if the dog has ever shown violent or aggressive tendencies before. In essence, there is no “free bite” in Tennessee anymore.

In closing, we should celebrate brave #HeroCat, be thankful that the little boy is OK, and mindful of our dogs.  I am a dog lover, too, but I know I have to protect my dogs from their natural tendencies, tendencies that could possibly injure someone else.  I am amazed at the cat’s protective instincts for its little boy and relieved that the little boy is going to be OK, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the dog in our story because, if he had a responsible owner, the dog would not have crossed paths with the child, the cat, or potential euthanasia.

Jennifer McFarland (for Keith Williams)

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