Norwich, CT -- A local pit bull named Tank has been called a hero after a very close call between an 11-year-old girl and a rabid animal.
Tank is being quarantined until July at the Norwich Animal Shelter after he saved a family member from being attacked by a rabid raccoon.
He is being quarantined to make sure he wasn't infected by the animal, and the family he shielded is facing treatment for rabies.
Savannah Vanase, 11, was cleaning the chicken coop in her family's backyard and spotted the rabid raccoon that was just inches from her.
Thankfully, Tank spotted the animal too and sprang into action to save her.
"He sprints over from the deck and I look under and there's this huge raccoon under there and they start to fight and fight," Savannah Vanase said.
She explained that Tank tossed the critter up against the fence and then suffocated it.
"We took it up to a lab in Rocky Hill under the advice of Norwich Animal Control, who've been absolutely awesome through this whole process, had it tested and came back rabid," Savannah's father Chris Vanase said.
Tank hasn’t exhibited any symptoms of rabies yet. He was only overdue on his booster shot by a few days.
Vanase said if the dog does contract rabies, and has to be put down, he'll die a hero.
"If we have to put him down, he'll die as a hero," Vanase told FOXCT. "I'll know that he died for saving me, my family and my chickens."
Now, all six family members have to go through a series of treatments for rabies while Tank sits in the pound to make sure he is healthy enough to go home.
"Had he been currently rabies vaccinated he would have been able to have a 45-day home quarantine but unfortunately he does need to be here for six months," Animal Control Officer Donna Gremminger said.
At $5 per day, that pound bill will add up but the family said they don't mind.
Savannah Vanase said she has a special treat for Tank when he finally comes home.
"What I plan on doing for his birthday when he comes home make him a big nice peanut butter bone treat cake for him, and hug him as hard as I can," she said.
The rabies vaccine costs $18, according to Gremminger.