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Video: Cat saves boy, 4, from dog attack

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Watch the extraordinary moment a pet cat saves a four-year-old boy from a ferocious attack by a neighbour's dog.

Jeremy Triantafilo was playing on his tricycle outside his home in California on Tuesday when he was attacked by an eight-month-old Labrador-chow mix, which suddenly pulled the youngster to the ground and began biting his leg.

Almost instantly, the Triantafilo family's cat Tara is seen leaping into action, running at speed directly at the dog and pushing the bigger animal away from the boy with force before chasing it away.

The scenes were captured by the family's surveillance camera. Jeremy's father, Roger, uploaded the footage to YouTube, confirming that his son is fine after needing a few stitches as a result of the dog bite.

"Thankfully it wasn't worse," he said.

"Tara is my hero," Jeremy told local TV station ABC23 in an interview during which Tara is seen calmly cuddling up to her grateful companion.

The cat has been a member of the Triantafilo family since 2008 but this is the first time she has displayed such heroic tendencies.

"I've never seen a cat do that," said Roger Triantafilo. "Especially ours. It just shows how much she really has a family-oriented mind set."

"I didn't really even realise what had happened until after when my husband showed me the surveillance video," Jeremy's mother Erika told the station. She was watering plants when the attack happened.

The dog escaped from its enclosure when its owners' car left their drive. The neighbours called the emergency services as soon as they realised their pet had attacked Jeremy.

The animal will now be put down, the station reported.

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