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From Rescued Pup to Hero Dog in Six Hours
Underweight and injured St. Bernard chases down burglar
Lee Littler and Hercules

A Saint Bernard rescued from an Ohio animal shelter turned into a crime-fighting hero less than six hours after he arrived at his new home.

The 114-pound Hercules—still recovering from injuries he received in a coyote attack—stopped a burglar trying to break into the home of his rescuers, Lee and Elizabeth Littler of Hillsboro, Ohio.

The crime-fighting canine sprang into action around 11:45 pm on November 9.

“My husband was letting Hercules out the back door when he heard him start to growl,” Elizabeth Littler told The Bark. “He had not done that before. Hercules then jumped through the screen door and leaped across our porch. That’s when my husband saw a guy’s head coming up our back stairwell.”

Hercules chased the burglar across the couple’s backyard and to their four-foot fence. “He got a bite out of the guy’s leg,” Elizabeth said of the burglar, who had already cut the phone and cable line to their house. “He ripped his pants and tried to tug him down. But the guy got away.”

Hillsboro Police Chief Nicholas Thompson applauded Hercules and his heroic efforts. “I think it’s great for him to take ownership of that home so quickly,” he said. “He’d only been with the family about six hours.”

The Littler’s originally planned to keep Hercules until he recovered from his injuries. “He was attacked by coyotes and some hunters found him in the woods,” Elizabeth said. “They thought he was dead until he lifted up his head. They took him to a vet, who patched him up. He then went to the Humane Society.”

Littler’s husband found Hercules by accident. “We had a friend who lost a Terrier and my husband went to the pound to look for him,” she said. “He saw Hercules there and learned he didn’t have much longer to live; he was days from being euthanized. My husband said we have to help him.

“Our original plan was to nurse him back to health and then give him to a rescue group or find him a good home,” she said of Hercules, who is still about 100-pounds underweight. “But now, he’s found a permanent home.”

Her husband echoed those sentiments in an interview with ABC news. “To have adopted a dog six hours before the incident and have him already defending you with that resolve, It’s amazing. If you show care and affection to your animals, they will return it.”

To return the favor to Hercules—and help save other dogs—the young couple now plans to start their own animal rescue group.

“All our other pets (dogs, cats, and an iguana) are rescues,” Elizabeth said. “We’re all for encouraging people to adopt.”

They’ve already set up a Facebook page about Hercules and said more information about their rescue group will be posted in the next few days.

Meanwhile, Hillsboro police continue to search for the burglar that Hercules chased away.  Chief Thompson, however, said they have no new leads in the case.

“I only wish that he (Hercules) would have been able to hold on to the guy long enough for my officers to arrive,” he said. “We’ve had several other calls in that neighborhood of prowlers in the late evening hours. There’s no doubt in my mind that was the same guy doing some of the other prowling.”

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Lisa McCormick is an award-winning investigative reporter whose stories have appeared in Dogs for Kids magazine, The Kansas City Star, and the national consumer news website, ConsumerAffairs.com; she has written 12 nonfiction children's books.
CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Veronica | November 14 2011 |

Hercules wears his name well!! Such an awesome story..and such wonderful people! So glad Hercules found his forever home!

Submitted by Ann Mason | November 14 2011 |

Way to go, Hercules! I'm not a bit surprised. You were born to be a hero. Love you, Sweetheart.

Submitted by Melanie | November 14 2011 |

I'm clapping and saying Hercules! Hercules! (just like Eddie Murphy in the movie "The Nutty Professor"). There are plenty of incredible dogs like Hercules in rescue and at shelters.....just gotta go look! Best wishes for a long, healthy life, Hercules!

Submitted by Kiley Cameron | November 14 2011 |

Awesome story! Thanks for the smile for the day. :)

Submitted by Anonymous | November 20 2011 |

This is without a doubt the most heartwarming story I've heard in a long time. God Bless the Littler's, though it sounds like they are in good hands. May Hercules have a happy and healthy life!!!

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