Celebrating 40 Years of Amazing Animals: Chelsea

Animals are not just our companions, they are our heroes – guarding our homes, working as service dogs, and even rescuing their families from burning buildings. As TVMF celebrates its 40th Anniversary, we want to take a moment to recognize some of the extraordinary animals that have been inducted into the Texas Animal Hall of Fame.

In this week’s edition, we’d like to honor TVMF’s Texas Animal Hall of Fame winner, a Golden Retriever named Chelsea.

Inducted: August 1991
Owned by: Mr. Chris A. Dittmar
Nominated by: Dr. Deanna Ernst

On the night of Feb. 15, 1990, Chris Dittmar and a neighbor were approached by two young men outside Dittmar’s Houston home. The two men pointed handguns at Dittmar and his neighbor and asked them to step away from the house.

At that moment Chelsea, who had been resting at Dittmar’s feet, sprang up and lunged at one of the gunmen. The assailant jumped back and fired two shots at Chelsea, hitting her once in the shoulder. While Chelsea had distracted the gunmen, Dittmar and his neighbor ran into Dittmar’s garage and closed the door. The two assailants fled.

Dittmar emerged from his house with a shotgun and began searching for Chelsea. He finally found the dog two blocks from the house, limping badly and bleeding at her shoulder. Dittmar carried Chelsea back to his home and then rushed her to an emergency veterinary clinic. Chelsea recovered fully after the bullet was removed from her chest in surgery almost two weeks later.

“I believe she attacked those two gunmen because she smelled fear and set about to protect her family,” Dittmar said. “If it hadn’t been for her actions, the consequences could have been severe.”