Tank the pit bull is in quarantine at an animal shelter for the next six months after stepping between his young human and a rabid raccoon.
Tank and his human sister Savannah Vanase, 11, were in the backyard of their family home in Norwich, Connecticut, this week when a raccoon came a little too close to the duo for Tank's comfort, local station WFSB reported.
"He sprints over from the deck and I look under and there's this huge raccoon under there and they just start to fight and fight," Vanase told WFSB. The family took the raccoon's body to their local animal control, where tests for rabies came back positive.
Tank was behind on his vaccination schedule, so instead of the standard 45-day at-home quarantine, he'll have to spend half the year alone at the Norwich Animal Shelter. The entire Vanase family also had to undergo preemptive treatment for rabies.
The story is an important reminder about how important it is to keep up with pets' vaccination schedules. Each state has different rules about vaccines for dogs, but vaccinations are essential in protecting the health of pets and their humans.