Labrador-Chow mix reportedly destroyed at Bakersfield animal shelter
Eight-month-old 'Scrappy' was filmed attacking four-year-old neighbour
- Dog viciously shook Jeremy Triantafilo by the leg until pet cat intervened
- Tara the tabby pounced on Scrappy and chased him off down the street
- The dog continued to display aggression in the days after the attack
He bit two staff at the animal centre and tried to attack several others
Published: 12:27 BST, 26 May 2014 | Updated: 15:58 BST, 26 May 2014
A dog which viciously attacked a four-year-old boy only to be scared off by a fearless cat has been euthanized, it has been claimed.
Scrappy, an eight-month-old Labrador-Chow mix, was apparently put down at Bakersfield animal shelter after he was filmed attacking his young neighbor Jeremy Triantafilo.
Jeremy's life was saved when his pet cat Tara selflessly pounced on the dog as it launched its attack, chasing the vicious animal down the street so her best friend could receive emergency medical help.
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Lurking: Jeremy Triantafilo was outside his family's home when Scrappy the dog escaped and ran towards him. The Labrador-Chow mix has since been destroyed at nearby at Bakersfield animal shelter
To the rescue! Tara runs towards her owner as Scrappy shakes him. The dog was euthanized after continuing to show aggression during a 10-day assessment
Scrappy was destroyed after he continued to display aggressive traits during a 10-day assessment period at Bakersfield animal centre, according to TMZ.
He bit two staff during his stay, and tried to attack any employee who brought him food and water.
Last Wednesday, surveillance footage emerged showing Tara the cat saving Jeremy by pouncing on the dog as it attacked him.
Tara's owners said she has been best friends with Jeremy since he was born.
She followed Erica and Roger Triantafilo home from a park about six years ago and has been a member of the family ever since, they said.
'It's pretty amazing to see just a cat take on a dog and selflessly put herself out there,' Roger Triantafilo said. 'That dog did not even know what hit him.'
Feline brave: The cat launches herself at the startled dog and knocks it away from Jeremy
And don't come back! Tara follows the dog to make sure it has left, before returning to check on Jeremy
Erica explained that she had been near to the house watering a tree when the neighbor's dog, Scrappy, escaped and grabbed her son by the leg.
'I'd never seen a dog just shake a child like that so violently,' she said. 'I just remember hearing him and the next thing I know, I see my cat flying out of nowhere and getting to this dog.'
After the attack, Tara can be seen chasing the dog away before returning to Jeremy's side.
In an interview with the Bakersfield Californian, his family said she had always been protective over their oldest child and slept in his crib when he was a baby. They also have younger twin boys.
They added that Tara became part of the family in 2008 when she followed them home from a nearby park - and they accepted her into their home, even though Erica is allergic to cats.
She 'really just adopted us from there,' Mrs Triantafilo said.
They named her Tara after 'Zatara', which was the name given to Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo by smugglers. They told him it means driftwood.
'We named her driftwood because she's our little cat that followed us home,' Triantafilo said. 'She's our little driftwood. She's amazing.'
She said that even though her three boys tug at Tara, she sits there and takes it.
Loved: The cat happily lets the little boy kiss her as he calls her a hero who saved him from a 'mean dog'
Feline fine: Hero cat Tara, with the help of her owner Roger Triantafilo and team staff member Jade Henry (right), 'tosses' the first pitch at the start of the Bakersfield Blaze and Lancaster Jayhawks game
The video had shown Jeremy sitting on his bicycle outside his family's home on Tuesday when the dog escaped its home through an open gate and crept up on him from behind.
Surveillance footage, which Jeremy's father uploaded to YouTube, shows the dog grabbing the boy's leg and pulling him to the ground before violently shaking him with his teeth clamped tight.
Then suddenly, an unlikely hero bounds towards him - the family's cat, Tara.
The video shows the fearless feline jumping on the dog with enough force to push him away from the boy. Tara then chases the dog away from the driveway with its leg between its tail.
Jeremy, who has mild autism, needed stitches to the deep wounds on his legs but is otherwise fine.
'He's just bouncing back from this,' she told Today. 'He tells us it feels better.'
Claw blimey: Tara, with her owner Roger Triantafilo, leaves with Jeremy (left) and Erica (centre)
Last week Tara was the star attraction at a minor league baseball match at Sam Lynn Ballpark in Bakersfield, California, 'throwing' the first pitch at the Bakersfield Blaze game.
She was carried onto the pitch by Roger Triantafilo, accompanied by his son, Jeremy, who she saved from the dog attack, and his wife, Erica.
Tara, however, didn’t quite play ball. Organisers had provided a baseball attached to a piece of string for the ceremonial first pitch, but she wasn’t very interested in swatting it.
In the end Mr Triantafilo gave her a helping hand and moved her paw through the air as he pitched the baseball.
The crowd were ecstatic nonetheless.