ENVIRONMENT
11/03/2014 06:03 pm ET Updated Feb 24, 2015

Pit Bull Saves Owner's Life, Proves Dogs Are Part Of The Family

A rescue pit bull named Tiger has been credited with saving his owner's life.

In late October, Tiger's adopted dad of 10 years, Todd Kibbey, passed out on the front porch of their Toledo, Ohio home.

Tiger then walked to a nearby house, where he cried until catching neighbor Tami Michalak's attention, according to Toledo News Now.

"He was whining," Michalak told the news outlet. "So, me and Tiger went to go find his owner, and when we got there we found his owner in distress...If we wouldn't have found him, I don't think the owner would've made it through the night."

For being such a good boy, Tiger is receiving a Heroic Mutt Award from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The group said in a press release that Tiger will be honored with "a framed certificate, a letter of congratulations, and a 'doggie bag' containing an eco-friendly squeaky toy, a Nylabone, a comfortable harness to wear on walks and a box of vegan dog treats."

"We give awards to animals like Tiger because their actions remind us that dogs are family members," PETA spokesperson Alexis Sadoti said to The Huffington Post. "They show concern and love and even perform acts of heroism. We hope Tiger's story will inspire people to treat their dogs like members of the family."

Just to make this all a little sweeter: Folks from Toledo's animal rescue community took care of Tiger while Kibbey, who'd been treated for heart problems earlier in the year, recuperated.

"In the future if he ever needs us again, we're going to be there," Maylissa Bell of Ford's Angel Paws Foundation, told Toledo News Now.

Kibbey told the Toledo Blade that all he remembers about the night of October 25 is smoking a cigarette, then waking up a few hours later in the hospital.

He said he is happy to be back home with his beloved Tiger, whose companionship has become even more precious in recent years since Kibbey went through a divorce on top of his health problems.

“Every pet owner thinks their kid is special, and when I say kid, I mean Tiger,” he said. “Tiger has been my everything."

Do you know a heroic pit bull? Have another animal story to share? Get in touch at arin.greenwood@huffingtonpost.com!

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