Steen family with pit bull that saved them from fireA 15-month-old dog had to overcome fire and smoke — and her breed’s reputation — to become a national hero.

The dog named Diamond is a pit bull—the canine most often cited as vicious in news reports and the most abandoned and euthanized dog in the country. But today, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles presented Diamond with their 29th annual National Hero Dog award.

“I have heard many stories of dogs alerting their human companions to danger, such as a fire,” said spca-LA President, Madeline Bernstein, “but this dog stayed with her companion even while being burned. It just shows how intense the human animal bond can be when we show kindness towards animals.”

The family of Darryl Steen and his two daughters received a year’s supply of dog food, a commemorative plaque, and air fare with lodging in Los Angeles for the National Hero Dog ceremony this morning.

The fire destroyed all the Steen’s belongings in October but the family still has not secured a new residence due to the prejudice against pit bulls. Mr. Steen refuses to give up the dog and hopes the award might help turn up new housing opportunities.

(READ more from Mercury News)

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