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A pregnant woman was forced to intervene when a pit bull in her family’s care attacked them in their Florida home.

Buster was kept by Heidi Cooper, 45, and her two daughters, Meaghan Tokay, 14, and eight-months-pregnant Sierra Willson, 22, in their Safety Harbor home. He belonged to Willson’s brother but was in their care while his owner was deployed with the Marines. He was known to be somewhat more aggressive than the family’s other two pit bulls, but Willson said he never fought with the other two dogs or attacked any of the family members.


Pinellas County Sheriff’s officials reported that Buster got out of his room on a fateful Friday and began to attack the other dogs in the house, though Willson contradicted that, saying the dogs did not fight each other.

Willson said she heard Cooper and Tokay yelling at Buster, and when she ran to them to find out what was causing the commotion, she found Buster attacking the two women.

Cooper and Tokay endured most of the 30-minute attack, sustaining multiple lacerations and puncture wounds — Cooper would later be attended to by paramedics. Willson, who walked away from the attack with a few scrapes, grabbed a knife from the kitchen when she saw her mother and sister being attacked.

“It’s like I blacked out,” she told the Tampa Bay Times.

Willson stabbed Buster several times, killing him in the process. Ending the dog’s life wasn’t her intention, “but he wasn’t letting go,” she said.

Willson said the attack wasn’t enough for her to dislike pit bulls, considering she owns two others. In fact, she stated, “I’d go out and adopt another one today if I could.” She also considered it unfortunate that the attack would only serve to hurt the breed’s reputation in some people’s eyes.

“He was the sweetest dog ever,” said Nikki Cagen, girlfriend of Buster’s owner. “I would come in the house, he would just come sit on my lap like a little puppy. He was so sweet.”

“He loved cuddles,” Willson said while showing a picture she took of the two of them the day before. Thankful to be alive, she added that Buster would “be missed.”

“He was an amazing dog.”

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Zuri Davis About the author:
Zuri Davis is a media writer for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @RiEleDavis.
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