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GRASS VALLEY, Calif. – A California man who rescued his dog from a shelter a few years ago didn’t think twice to save his dog after it was attacked by a 350-pound bear.

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“If it was your kid, what would you do,” Kaleb Benham told KOVR. “That’s my kid; I would die for my dog.”

Benham said Buddy, the 90-pound pit bull he rescued, was playing outside Nov. 25 when he heard growls then saw a bear about 100 feet away dragging the dog by his head.

“I just ran down there, plowed into the bear, tackled it and grabbed it by the throat and started hitting it in the face and the eye until it let go,” Benham told KOVR.

Then Benham had to figure out where to take Buddy for his injuries; the nearest veterinarian clinic was closed because of the coronavirus. He eventually found Mother Lode Veterinary Services. Clinics there were ready for surgery as soon as Buddy arrived. Buddy needed staples and stitches. They also drained fluid in his head. He is expected to recover.

Benham said the bear is still in the wild and may return.

“It made an attack and had its food,” Benham said. “And it’s food got taken from it, and it wants it back, I feel like.”