Meet Diamond, the Hero Pit Bull

Diamond the pit bull woke everyone in a Hayward family's burning home

Diamond, a 15-month-old, pit bull was hailed as a hero on Wednesday.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles presented Diamond with their 29th Annual National Hero Dog award.

On Oct. 24, Diamond woke his family from a sound sleep when their Hayward apartment caught fire. Diamond's owner, Darryl Steen, grabbed his 9-year-old daughter Darahne and dropped her to safety out of a second story window.

He said he couldn't find his 16-year-old daughter, Sierra, who was hiding under a mattress in her father's room, but Diamond found her.

Firefighters spotted the gray-and-white pit bull on the mattress shielding Sierra, Steen said.

Steen and Sierra were hospitalized for weeks with burns, and had to have skin grafts. Diamond spent six weeks at a pet hospital, being treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

"If it wouldn't have been for that dog, there is no way any of us would be here," said Steen.

Pit bull's are often cited in the news about vicious attacks, and the most abandoned and euthanized dog in the country, but Diamond's owner say that bad reputation has to stop.

"Stop discriminating against a pit bull, because you can see what a dog can do for you," said Steen. "I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for this dog."

With her title, Diamond gets a plaque, dog food for a year

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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