Hero: Toby forced a burglar to flee despite suffering a punctured lung
When Toby the young black labrador heard a burglar breaking into his home, he did not hesitate.
With his family upstairs, he leapt into action.
Barking, growling and snarling, he went for the knife-wielding intruder who lashed out and stabbed him several times.
Despite his serious injuries, eight-month- old Toby held his ground and the petrified burglar was forced to flee.
When owner Jonathan Morton arrived downstairs, a bloodied Toby had his paws on the back fence, barking as the would-be thief fled into the night.
Minutes later he collapsed with severe stab wounds to his chest and a punctured lung.
Thankfully he made a full recovery and has just received the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals’ gold award for bravery.
Mr Morton, 23, from Barnoldswick, Lancashire, said: ‘ Normally Toby would not hurt a fly and is great with children.
‘But that night he was protecting his territory. He has fully recovered now, but still wakes up at the least little thing.’
Toby the Labrador puppy received serious stab wounds as he tried to defend his family from an intruder
The engineer with Silver Cross Prams added: ‘The lad who broke in told police he didn’t know what was coming at him and he just lashed out.Toby was certainly looking after us.’
The botched burglary happened in June 2007, when Mr Morton and his wife Samantha were staying in Leconfield Barracks, near Beverley, North Yorkshire.
The couple, who now have a five-month-old daughter, Megan, heard a noise which they thought was two dogs fighting.
Mr Morton said: ‘I looked out of the bedroom window and I could see a lad climbing over the fence, so I ran downstairs.
Toby, pictured with owners Jonathan and Samantha Morton and baby Megan, received a bravery award for his actions
‘I saw blood on the walls, and all the way down the carpet, then went outside to find Toby with his paws on the back fence, still trying to get him. He could have saved our lives. We think he is a proper hero and worthy of all the fuss.’
Toby spent a week being treated at the vet’s, but the £3,000 bill was covered by pet insurance.
The offender was jailed for three-and-a-half years for aggravated burglary.