Animal Miracle Network Names Pit Bull Maya "National Dog Day Hero of 2008"

 |  Jan 8th 2008  |   5 Contributions


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Yay for Maya!!!! The Animal Miracle Network has named Maya as the National Dog Day Hero Dog of 2008. You may remember that Maya not only stopped an attack on her hooman by a man who pushed into her home intent on no good, she also got enough of the perpetrator's blood to get him brought to justice.

It's soapbox time in regards to big dogs. I am soooo tired of people talking about how scared they are of bully breeds and other large dogs. If someone had a traumatic experience as a young child, they're excused but for the rest of us, that's it. I love small dogs but as someone who has lived with large dogs most of my life here's a newsflash for all those people complaining about how scary large dogs are and how they fear them. Guess what? I love large dogs exactly for that reason! Okay, I love them for other reasons too but I do welcome the scary part some days.

Living with large dogs allows me a kind of freedom I wouldn't have if all I had were smaller dogs. I can live alone and NOT worry about a home invasion. I can come in late at night and not worry about being bothered because my dogs are out to meet me in the yard. In short, I'm glad my large dogs are scary to people who might want to harm me!

I would never encourage anyone to make their dogs mean or over-protective. That's not necessary. If your furbaby loves in the house with you and truly feels a part of the pack, you don't have to train him to be protective. He'll do it out of his love for you.

Here is the information about Maya's well-deserved award:

We chose Maya for this award not only because she saved (Angela Marcelino) her human mommy's life from an attacker, but because the organization behind National Dog Day, the Animal Miracle Foundation, loves and supports ALL dog breeds. We don't believe in breed bans and Maya is a testament to the fact that the Pit Bull breed can be hero dogs just like any other breed.

All dogs are capable of biting and even attacking, but it's our firm belief that humans are to blame behind the dogs who get the bad rap. Sadly, so many dogs suffer a tragic fate simply because of their breed. Not only is Maya our Hero Dog of 2008, she is what we're calling our AmbassaBULL to all bull breeds.

It's clear, in this situation, as is the case in many life-threatening situations that involve attacks on women, that Angela was fortunate to have a Pit Bull as her protector. But the most heartwarming aspect of this story is that Angela rescued Maya from the Santa Clara County Animal Shelter....and on June 17th, 2007, Maya returned the favor.

Instead of writing a standard 3rd party editorial, we felt that this story is best told by the woman who not only loves this dog - but who is alive today because of her.


It was Fathers Day 2007. I opened my front door and was about to walk inside when I saw someones shadow out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head just as a man pushed me into my house. I screamed as loud as I could, but the man had slammed the door shut behind him. Shut up" were the only words he said to me. He was choking me with one hand. I was able to scream one last time. After I did, his grip tightened around my neck. That is when I saw a white streak run in from the other room. His grip was so tight that I could only gurgle the words Maya, get him." He still had a grip on my throat, as his other hand was busy trying to fight off my angry dog. I dont know how, but I managed to get on my feet.

His attention turned away from Maya for a second so that he could push my front door open and she followed. At that point I grabbed him in the groin as hard as I could. He doubled over and released the grip around my neck. I pushed him away and grabbed Maya by the collar. I like to think, at that moment, he told himself he had picked the wrong woman to mess with. He looked at me one last time, only for a second, and then simply walked away. I waited and followed him from a distance just in case he decided he wasnt done yet. He was getting into a car. I repeated the license plate number over and over in my head and ran back inside to call 911.

The police arrived after only a couple of minutes. Officers gathered evidence and asked so many questions. I told them how Maya had come to my rescue. I also told them that Maya had something red on her face. They asked me if she was alright or if she was injured. When I checked her, she looked up at me and had such a proud look on her face. She was licking her chops and wagging her tail. If dogs could talk, I think at that moment she would have said he sure wasnt expecting to see me, was he?" Maya was fine. Now the officers were trying to determine the best way to swab the head of an angry pit bull. After a couple of tries, and lots of patience, they were able to retrieve what they needed. I told myself that he was going to be arrested the same day. He wasnt. Everyday following the attack, I worried that he would be back.

Sometime later, Detective Kimber asked me to come down to the station. He had pictures of potential suspects and wanted to know if any of them looked like my attacker. After writing out a statement about one of the photos, Detective Kimber said we processed the DNA and got a match." It was same man that I had picked from the photos. The lab had processed the blood from Mayas face and got a match. I could not believe it. It turns out this man had a record and this was his third strike. He was arrested shortly after being identified. Anthony Easley, 38 years old, now facing life in prison if convicted. After the arrest, Maya became the local hero. Ive learned that our story has reached across the country. I wish everyone knew how grateful I am for the support and the prayers. It makes each day a little easier to deal with. I cry sometimes when I hug Maya and ask her What would I do without you?" But first, I thank God for bringing Maya into my life.

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