Terrier That Saved Owners from Coyote Named 'Hero Dog'
The wire fox terrier was bitten by the coyote, but he fought back and scared it away.
Ronnie the wire fox terrier gets a look at his new award in the yard of his Rossmoor home. (The OC Register)
Ronnie received the honor on Tuesday by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Los Angeles.
The brave pooch generally has a calm disposition, but showed unusual courage when the coyote jumped over a backyard fence on Aug. 1 and confronted owner Janis Christensen and her husband, Eric, along with another family dog, a Yorkie named Annie.
According to the spcaLA, Ronnie jumped between the animal and his family.
Ronnie was bitten in the process, but charged back and bit the coyote, which eventually ran away.
Ronnie's owners say the behavior was uncharacteristic for their typically laid-back pet.
"Ronnie has always been extremely timid," Janis Christensen said.
"Yesterday we had a repair person in our house and Annie was barking and growling and trying to get at him, and Ronald put his tail between his legs and ran."
In honor of being named the organization's 28th annual Hero Dog Award, Ronnie and his owners received a commemorative plaque.
"Ronnie's personality was such that you wouldn't think he would spring into action like he did," said spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein.
"This shows that treating your pet with love and respect can be returned by an amazing heroic act. Coyotes wandering into backyards looking for food is becoming more and more prevalent."
Ronnie and his owners also won a year's supply of
California Natural brand pet food and a weekend getaway at Hotel Maya in Long Beach.