A deadly dog attack in Burlington ends with a heartwarming story of heroism.
LaVonda Street and her two children loved their dog, Jasper.
"He was very playful and never barked at another animal but he would bark at people. I was like you had it backwards," Street said with a laugh. "You bark at people but you don't bark at animals?"
Street became the shih-tzu's owner when she saw a "2 The Rescue" pet adoption segment on the WFMY News 2 Good Morning Show back in April.
"I got up at 6 o'clock in the morning and waited for two hours to go get Jasper," said Street. "I was determined that he was going to be mine."
It didn't take long for Street and her family to fall in love with Jasper."First thing when they got up in the morning, they went to him. Like my third child. I have a 12-year-old, and a-year-old, and a nine-month old. He was just my fur baby. He brought so much joy to my family and my kids."
But that joy turned to heartache in a matter of minutes. Street told WFMY News 2 that she let Jasper outside of her house for just a couple minutes on Saturday. In that short period of time, tragedy struck.
When she went out to check on him she noticed he was with another dog - a PIT BULL
that had escaped from her chain. The pit bull attacked Jasper jerking him around while she stood by and watched helplessly for fear the pit bull would turn the attack on her.
Ultimately, Jasper died as a result of the attack. Street called 911 in tears. When authorities showed up, so did Officer Kaleb Pettigrew with the Burlington Police Department - in a big way. Pettigrew helped dig a grave and bury Jasper's body in the backyard.
"He didn't have to do all that. He went above and beyond his badge and he did what he was sworn to do and that is to protect and serve." said Street. "He served and more than enough."
Pettigrew says he's not a hero. He said he just did what any other officer would do in that situation.
"I can understand her distress and I could tell that she was definitely attached to the dog." said Pettigrew. "I have dogs too that I'm attached to, so I can understand."
On Sunday afternoon, Pettigrew stopped by to help Street build a memorial for Jasper. She got a chance to show her gratitude for his service face-to-face.
"I would like to say thank you for going above and beyond your shield and doing what you did last night," said Street while shaking hands with Officer Pettigrew. "I'm just so thankful because I couldn't have done it without you. I don't know how I would've got there and I thank you."
Street bought a fence to protect Jasper's grave in the backyard decorated with pictures, lights, and knickknacks.
The pit bull is now with Alamance County Animal Control. Investigators are trying to get a hold of its owner who lives out of town. Police say if they cannot reach the dog's owner then the pit bull will likely be put to sleep. Street plans to meeet with officials from Animal Control on Monday. After her meeting, she will decide whether to press charges.