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Bakersfield Cat Who Saved Owner In Viral Video Awarded Hero Dog Honor

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — For the first time ever, a Los Angeles shelter's Hero Dog award has gone to a cat.

In May of last year, Tara the cat fought off a dog that attacked her 6-year-old owner, Jeremy, as he rode his bicycle in the driveway of his Bakersfield home. The dog had charged Jeremy, sunk his teeth into his leg and pulled him off his bike while violently shaking him.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Los Angeles says Tara body-slammed Scrappy, a chow-mix that lived next door.

"We were so impressed by Tara's bravery and fast action that the selection committee decided that a cat this spectacular should be the National Hero Dog," SPCALA president, Madeline Bernstein, said in a statement.

The 7-year-old tabby chased the dog back home. It was later euthanized.

Jeremy got eight stitches after the encounter and the security camera footage made Tara an international celebrity.

Tara was mellow on Friday as the spcaLA gave her its 33rd annual Hero Dog Award in Los Angeles. There was one change: the word "Dog" was scratched out and the word "Cat" etched in.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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