Adopted Pit Bull Receives Hero Award for Saving His Owner's Life

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When Bertha Martinez first met Astro, she wasn’t sure what to think. Scared of pit bulls, she was hesitant to commit to him when her family got him off the streets.

“I’ve always been scared of Pitbulls and when we brought him home I wasn’t sure we’d keep him for a long time cause he was going to grow up,” she told KTSM-TV.

That was around a year ago. Now, he’s a permanent member of the family and a certified hero after saving Martinez’s son during an emergency.

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“Everyone, meet Cosmo,” the El Paso Fire Department tweeted on April 14.

“Today, Cosmo’s owner had a medical emergency. Cosmo ran and led a good samaritan to the location, 911 was called.

“Thanks to this, crews were able to assist and transport the patient, saving his life.”

While the El Paso Fire Department referred to the dog as “Cosmo,” the family clarified that his name is actually “Astro.”

Astro, barking and running around, was able to get a passer-by’s attention and led him to where Martinez’s son was. If it weren’t for Astro, that man might be dead.

Getting help for his owner wasn’t enough — Astro’s devotion was clear when first responders showed up to take the patient to the hospital.

“We know that the dog was even trying to climb into the ambulance with the owner, firefighters had to lure him into a vehicle for family members to come and pick him up and without his help the patient might have never been found,” the fire department’s spokesperson, Enrique Duenas-Aguilar, said.

El Paso Animal Services’ interim director, Ramon Herrera, said that Astro is an excellent ambassador for pit bull breeds.

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“He really set an example for dogs that look just like him, Astro is definitely a Pitbull and that is one of the main breeds you find in many shelters,” he said.

“Not only was he a friend but he was there to help when his owner needed him most.”

The dog’s heroics were recognized on Friday with a certificate and a special, dog-friendly cake. He’s gotten plenty of special attention at home, too.

“We never in a million years thought he’d do something like that,” Martinez said. “If you treat them well and you don’t harm them or anything I think they become what he is.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking