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Burglar Loses Fight With Spuds The Rescue Pit Bull

Altoona, PA – A family’s loyal rescue dog helped take down an intruder who allegedly tried to walk into their home in March.

Leroy Rucker said he and Spuds, a nine-year-old rescue pit bull, were watching television at their home on Third Avenue on March 24 when a stranger suddenly barged through the front door, WJAC reported.

Altoona police later identified the intruder as 53-year-old Robert Burke.

“He wasn’t going to just walk in my house uninvited,” Rucker told WJAC. “I don’t know you like that buddy. Get back.”

“Spuds didn’t like it either,” he added.

Rucker said he and his family jumped on the would-be burglar, at which point Spuds sprang into action too.

“Spuds is a protector,” his owner told WJAC. “He was coming to hang out with dad. That’s all I can say. He sees me fighting, he wants to fight.”

With Spuds in the mix, Burke wasn’t so keen on fighting back, Rucker said.

“The guy (Burke) listened. I mean, he listened better when the dog was right there present, you know what I mean,” he told WJAC.

Spuds and his family restrained Burke for approximately 20 minutes until Altoona police arrived and placed him under arrest.

Burke was booked into jail on charges of criminal trespass, burglary, harassment, and simple assault, WJAC reported.

He later posted $50,000 bail and bonded out of jail.

Burke is due back in court on May 13, WJAC reported.

Spuds has become a beloved local celebrity due to the ordeal, with many people calling him a hero.

“Spuds is very protective of his family. He knows good and bad, and that’s what dogs are supposed to do,” the family’s local garbage collector, Steven Rightenour, told WJAC.

“For them, it’s protection,” Rucker said. “For me, it’s love.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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