A 9-year-old rescue pit bull in Blair County, Pennsylvania, named "Spuds" is being credited with protecting his family from a home invader by attacking the alleged criminal and helping restrain him until police arrived.
According to his owner, Leroy Rucker, "Spuds is a protector" — and he had the chance to prove it when an unwelcomed guest showed up at his home last month.
"I was just sitting in here watching TV and YouTube with the dogs like I always do," Rucker recalled in a recent interview with WJAC-TV. It was March 24.
Then all of a sudden an intruder, later identified as 53-year-old Robert Burke Jr., came bursting through the door of Rucker's Altoona residence. That's when both he and his beloved pit bull allegedly sprang into action.
"He wasn't going to just walk in my house uninvited. I don't know you like that, buddy," Rucker said in reference to the intruder, adding, "Spuds didn't like it either."
When he saw his family fighting with the alleged criminal, Spuds immediately joined in on the action.
"He was coming to hang out with dad, that's all I can say," the homeowner explained. "He sees me fighting, he wants to fight."
The family, along with critical help from their canine protector, reportedly restrained the intruder for approximately 20 minutes until police arrived on the scene.
Rucker made sure to note that Spuds was one of the major factors — if not the main factor — that allowed him and his family to safely keep Burke in their grasp until authorities showed up.
"The guy [Burke] listened. I mean, he listened better when the dog was right there present, you know what I mean," he said.
It's not only Spuds' own family that is heaping praise on him, though. The rescue dog has a great reputation with neighbors, as well, and even the local garbage man.
"I deal with dogs every day — five or six days a week — but Spuds is very protective of his family. He knows good and bad, and that's what dogs are supposed to do," the garbage collector, Steven Rightenour, told WJAC.
But Rucker said his bond with Spuds goes deeper than just "protection."
"For them, it's protection. For me, it's love," he said.
The home invader, Burke, was arrested and held at Blair County Prison on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, simple assault, and harassment, according to online records. But he posted his $50,000 bond and has been released.
His next court date is reportedly scheduled for May 13.