Terminally Ill Dog Thwarts Burglar In Stunning Act Of Heroism

A terminally ill dog has been labeled a hero after thwarting a burglary at his carer’s home. Tango, who has renal failure and a heart murmur, is cared for by the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and has been placed in a foster home to escape the noise and chaos of a shelter. His carers said he is highly vocal and barks a lot. One evening, his barking was very useful when a burglar broke into his foster carer’s home but fled after Tango made his presence known.

The animal’s foster family reports that since the incident, Tango has been carefully watching doors and windows and is preparing to defend the family home again.

The brave canine is homed as part of an Iowa shelter’s Golden Paw Hospice Program, which places terminally sick dogs and cats with families so they can spend their remaining months or years in a loving home with affection and attention. The rehoming is based on data showing that animals receiving just 15 minutes of affection per day can live longer.

The Applied Animal Behavior Science publication conducted a study in 2018 that examined shelter dogs and discovered that attention, such as cuddles or petting, can improve the animal’s behavior and physiological well-being.

Saliva and heart rate were studied for 55 dogs cared for by volunteers, and the results were overwhelmingly positive. The dogs were more relaxed toward the end of their interaction with volunteers, and their heart rate had decreased. “Human interaction has been shown to be an effective means of reducing stress in shelter dogs,” the report noted.

Research shows that the dog-human relationship is mutually beneficial, including in relation to crime. A study in Columbus, Ohio, in 2022 revealed that the more dogs that live in a neighborhood, the less its residents are impacted by crime. The study concluded that there are two major reasons: dogs deter burglary by their presence, and dog walkers act as “eyes on the street.”