There was a stunning surprise today when the local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals presented its annual National Hero Dog Award.
The winner was a cat.
Tara, a 7-year-old tabby from Bakersfield, bested “man’s best friend” to claim the award and its accompanying prize -- which was adjusted from a year’s supply of dog food to 12 months’ worth of cat chow, courtesy of PurinaOne.
Tara was honored for risking one of her nine lives on May 13, 2014, when 5-year-old Jeremy Triantafilo was attacked by a neighbor’s dog while playing in the family’s front yard. The dog bit Jeremy in a leg, pulled him off his bike and began shaking him.
“Tara sprang into action, knocking the dog off Jeremy and chasing him out of the Triantafilos’ yard,” according to the spcaLA.
The heroic cat became an Internet sensation when Jeremy’s father uploaded security camera footage of the attack on YouTube.
“We were so impressed by Tara’s bravery and fast action that the selection committee decided that a cat this spectacular should be the National Hero Dog,” said Madeline Bernstein, president of spcaLA. “A cat who was abused, forgotten or neglected by her family would not have been as likely to perform selfless, heroic acts to save her companion.”

Clink headline for video of cat's defense of boy.