Heroic & Inspiring

‘I would die for my dog’: Man Tackled, Punched 350-lb Bear to Save His Dog’s Life

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It was the night before Thanksgiving when a California man let his best friend, a pit bull aptly named “Buddy,” outside to play in the backyard. Moments later, that man would risk his own life to save his dog from a massive 350-pound black bear.

Kaleb Bentham had just let his 90-pound dog, Buddy, outside into their Grass Valley, California backyard to play when he heard a strange noise and went to investigate. It turned out Buddy had come face-to-face with a 350-pound bear.

“I heard a growl, looked about 75-100 feet down, and the bear was dragging him by his head, had his head in his mouth,” Benham told CBS13.

Horrified by the scene unfolding in front of him, but willing to do anything to save the life of the dog he rescued many years ago, Kaleb sprung into action.

“I just ran down there, plowed into the bear, tackled it and grabbed it by the throat and started hitting it in the face and the eye until it let go.”

The bear released Buddy and retreated, but the horror wasn’t over yet. Buddy had been seriously injured in the attack and the nearest emergency veterinarian had shut down due to COVID-19. Thankfully, Mother Lode Veterinary Hospital was open and ready to whisk Buddy straight into surgery by the time they arrived.

It took doctors 3 and-a-half hours to treat the serious injuries to Buddy’s face and head, which is peppered with staples, stitches, and drainage tubes through the healing process. Miraculously, Buddy has a long road ahead of him, but is expected to make a full recovery.

The bear, however, is still out there and has returned to the area several times. Kaleb is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Buddy safe.

“If it was your kid, what would you do? That’s my kid, I would die for my dog.”

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