Buffy, the German shepherd who was shot and killed after fending off a gunman robbing her owner in East Oakland, has been posthumously named Valor Dog of the Year by the Humane Society of the United States.
Buffy was chosen to receive the highest honor in the companion dog category of the Dogs of Valor Awards "because of the extraordinary courage she exhibited when she intervened during a robbery to save her owner's life," the Humane Society said.
At about 7 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2007, Will Bartley left the cell-phone store he owns near 92nd Avenue and International Boulevard and was apparently followed to his home, where a gunman robbed him of $400, credit cards and his identification.
That's when Buffy ran from the yard and jumped onto the gunman, who fired two shots. One shot hit the dog in her left forelimb.
The beloved 7-year-old dog had a previously undiagnosed kidney problem that was exacerbated by the loss of blood after she was shot. Doctors at Bay Area Veterinary Specialists in San Leandro managed to save her leg.
Buffy eventually went home but had to return to the hospital twice because of various complications. She grew weak and stopped eating. Buffy was put down on Feb. 15, 2007.
It wasn't known if Buffy bit or injured the robber. No arrests have been made.
"My family and I would like to thank the Humane Society of the United States and the entire Bay Area community for their support and compassion since this incident occurred," Bartley said in a statement. "We still love and miss Buffy dearly, but this award and the countless cards and letters of sympathy we have received have gone a long way to help us heal. We are so proud of Buffy and grateful to have had such a true and loving friend."
Michael Markarian, executive vice president of Humane Society, said, "Buffy's courage and dedication to her family exemplify what the 'Dogs of Valor Award' is all about. We are proud to present this inaugural award to her family and hope it helps ease the pain they still feel at her loss."