HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - After taking a bullet to the head to protect his family, a four-legged hero is has been officially recognized for his courage and sacrifice.
On March 21, Leon the pit bull alerted Theresa Lero that prowlers were on her property.
"I went over to the window to look at the door, and facing me in my pass-through window was a man in a ski mask with a gun," said Theresa, who immediately grabbed her gun as Leon chased away the suspects.
Suddenly, she heard gunshots.
"That was when I got angry," Theresa recalled, "I said, 'You shot my dog, I'll kill you myself.'"
Although Leon took a bullet to the head, his outcome was fortunate. The bullet skidded along his skull before exiting his head.
"He actually walked into the ER. I said, 'How many gunshot wound to the head victims walk into the ER,'" Theresa said.
Leon's act of bravery afforded him a special visit from the sheriff.
"In this situation that happened, he saved y'all's life," said Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson, as he read a proclamation Thursday. "Even after receiving serious wounds during the attack, Leon continued to pursue the criminals; exhibiting a deep love and devotion for his family."
Despite his close call, Leon is back to his old self again.
"No telling what they would have done, they had loaded guns. They came into the house with guns," said Theresa's husband, Brickford.
The Leros have had Leon for about a year. He was a rescue dog from an area animal shelter.