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Oklahoma City pit bull is ‘People’s Hero’ for taking burglar’s shots

BY SEAN ELY Published: May 30, 2009
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Not even two gunshots to the head and one in the leg could hold D-Boy down.

Roberta Shoemaker and Kevin Fields’ 2-year-old pit bull terrier stood strong just inside the front door of their Oklahoma City home as an armed would-be robber fired three shots into him in December.


The dog was resilient and scared the man off the property before he could enter and injure any of the seven family members, the couple said.

The man escaped on foot and officials were unsuccessful in locating him.

Because of his protection of the home and his family, D-Boy and his owners were honored with the "People’s Hero” award from The Humane Society of the United States in the second-annual Dogs of Valor Awards. In the people’s choice category, D-Boy received an overwhelming majority of the 6,000 votes cast for 15 nominated dogs.

"One of the gunshots hit a vital organ so they had to do surgery that night (at Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Hospital),” said Shoemaker, 22.

"They didn’t want to at first, but he was bleeding so hard in his main artery that they had to — it could have killed him. He lost a lot of blood from the three wounds.”

After just a couple of weeks of medication and recovery time, D-Boy was back on his paws, livelier than ever, but by no means the same dog.

D-Boy, once described by Shoemaker and Fields as a "gentle, goofy and clumsy” puppy, has taken a 180-degree turn in attitude and overall demeanor — acting extremely aggressively toward anyone who steps foot in their new home, which they moved to in March because of the incident.