Twelve year old Damon Boyer-Marwood became a small dog's hero when he saved her from a savage beating by a group of children.
On Thursday, Damon was walking home from school in Cannons Creek, New Zealand, when he heard an animal crying. He went to investigate and saw a group of several boys, around his age, abusing a small female terrier cross dog.
The bullies had pinned the dog down and were taking turns kicking her. One boy also had a cricket bat and was hitting the dog with it.
Damon bravely approached the boys and told them to leave. "They stood there for a bit, then they ran inside," said Damon. He said he acted because he did not think it was fair that the boys were hitting the dog.
Damon picked up the scared and shaking dog and took her to a friend's house before calling the Wellington SPCA.
Although badly bruised, the dog, named Rose, will be all right. Luckily, Rose has a microchip to trace back to her owner. She was reunited with her owner, Sosefina Leota, a day later.
Sosefina met with Damon to thank him personally. "I want to thank him from my heart, I want to know his face," said a relieved Sosefina.
"It makes you wonder what would have happened if he didn't step in," said Damon's grandmother, Jenny Marwood, who also said she was very proud of her grandson.
Wellington SPCA will be investigating the matter with assistance from the police. But, because those involved are minors, they are limited prosecution-wise. SPCA Inspector Kaycee Polkinghornehas said, "...it does reinforce the importance of having education in schools about things like this. You just have to to wonder what's going on to make them think this is acceptable behavior."
The SPCA hopes to present Damon with a bravery award and Polkinghornehas added, "I just hope there are more kids out there who are willing to stand up for what's right and not be afraid to say it."
Update June 1, 2012: Damon was presented a Bravery Award from The SPCA yesterday, during his school assembly at Brandon Intermediate in Cannons Creek. Damon also received a Mayoral Commendation from Mayor Nick Leggett, as well as vouchers from Warehouse Porirua, Porirua Pool and Wellington Zoo.
Pictured from left: SPCA Animal Welfare Inspector Kaycee Polkinghorne, SPCA Marketing Manager James Craw, Damon Boyer-Marwood, SPCA Humane Educator Jen Rizzi, Sosefina Leota with her dog Rose, and 'One in the Family' Spokesman Norm Hewitt.