Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

9-Year-Old Rescue Pit Bull Helps Pin Down Intruder Until Police Arrive

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on May 16, 2022

Spuds may have some silver in his fur, but when it comes to protecting his family, this good boy proves that age is just a number! The 9-year-old rescue Pit Bull is being hailed a hero for his role in subduing a home invader.

Leroy Rucker of Altoona, Pennsylvania, was relaxing with his dogs when an alleged burglar suddenly came through the front door. What Spuds did next shocked local police and made the senior pooch a local celebrity.

Screenshot, WJAC-TV

According to Rucker, the intruder, later identified as 53-year-old Robert Burke, knocked on the door before bursting in uninvited. A struggle ensued between the two men, but Spuds wasn’t about to sit on the sidelines. Seeing his beloved dad in danger, he sprang into action.

“He wasn’t going to just walk in my house uninvited. I don’t know you like that buddy. Spuds didn’t like it either,” Rucker told WJAC-TV. “He was coming to hang out with dad. That’s all I can say. He sees me fighting, he wants to fight.”

Screenshot, WJAC-TV

Once Spuds joined the fight, Burke cut his losses and surrendered. Rucker was able to phone the police while his devoted dog kept an eye on the suspect.

“The guy (Burke) listened. I mean, he listened better when the dog was right there present, you know what I mean,” said Rucker.

When police entered the home, they found Burke sitting calmly on the living room floor, awaiting their arrival. Spuds had bravely kept the suspect at bay for 20 minutes.

RELATED: Burglar Is Scared Off By The Most Vicious Dog He’s EVER SEEN!

Burke was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries he sustained during the scuffle. He confessed that he had been drinking alcohol and using methamphetamine and marijuana before forcing his way into Rucker’s home. Police say just before he encountered Rucker and Spuds, Burke burglarized another home and punched a woman in the face.

Screenshot, WJAC-TV

Burke was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, simple assault, and harassment. He has since been released on bond.

According to Steven Rightenour, a local sanitation worker, Spuds was already popular with the community, but now he’s a local celebrity.

“I’m a garbageman. I deal with dogs everyday — 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,” Rightenour said.

Rucker and the entire community have a new appreciation for Spuds and his protective instinct. Who knows what Burke might have done if this heroic old fella wasn’t there to stop him? With word of his bravery spreading across PA, criminals will likely think twice before choosing Spuds’ house—or his entire neighborhood—as a future target!

Screenshot, WJAC-TV

Never underestimate a senior dog or a rescue pup’s devotion to their family!

Featured Image: Screenshot, WJAC-TV

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog