Jareth Burchett is lucky he survived an attack by a large dog in his neighborhood.
Jareth says, "First, I petted the dog once. It was acting kinda nice, so I petted it again. Whenever I petted it the second time, it jumped on me and bit my face."
Lucky for Jareth, Morgantown Police Officer Giles Taylor was there when it happened.
Officer Taylor says, "I was dispatched out here on a vicious dog complaint."
A man had been scratched by the dog and wanted to have it checked for rabies. When Officer Taylor got to where the dog was, he asked Jareth if the dog belonged to him.
Taylor says, "He said no, but I play with him."
Officer Taylor saw the dog's ears perk up then heard the dog growl before he pounced on Jareth. Taylor hit the dog with his forearm to get the dog off the boy.
Taylor says, "That brought him at me. And after he backed me up to here, and I couldn't go any further, I shot him."
The dog did substantial damage to Taylor's hand.
Taylor says, "Tore through muscle. Shattered bone. The bone of the thumb. And I had to have surgery and pins and all that."
Now Jareth and his family want to thank Officer Taylor for his heroic efforts.
Jareth says, "Because he saved me."
Taylor says he doesn't deserve all the credit.
Taylor says, "I didn't do anything that anybody else wouldn't have done. It's a fact."
Officer Taylor will need three months to recover from his injuries. Both Officer Taylor and Jareth have been tested for rabies. Neither of them tested positive.