A 27-year-old mother allegedly tried to drown her sons, aged nine and five on Thursday. A pitbull named Buddy is believed to have intervened and dragged the nine-year-old boy out of a river after his mother allegedly tried to drown him.

Buddy was detained by Murray River Council rangers on Thursday after the incident, but police officers said they do not intend to put down the dog after finding he ‘was acting in reasonable defense of the nine year old boy’ who is now in hospital. Buddy will be returned to his owners.

‘”It is likely that the dog was acting in reasonable defense of the nine-year-old boy that was subsequently hospitalized,’” Murray River Council interim general manager Margot Stork said in a press release, according to the Riverine Herald. ‘”The NSW Police have advised council that they will not be seeking an order to destroy this animal.’”

‘”The dog is well and presently being cared for in a Murray River Council facility,’” Stork added.
‘”Since the incident, we have microchipped the dog and are working with the dog’s owner to register the dog and set up the appropriate conditions to enable the dog to return home.

‘”The owner has visited the dog at council’s facility and is working with us to ensure compliance with all obligations under the Companion Animals Act.’”

Buddy’s owners created a GoPetition last week after he was seized, according to the Riverine Herald. In the description, the petition recounted the incident, and made the argument that Buddy was indeed trying to save the boy:
On the 2nd of march 2017 a mother of 2 has attempted to drown her children in the Murray river at moama. In this selfish mothers attempt to drown her 2 boys buddy the dog has reacted and attempted to save the boys in doing so he has bit the eldest boy in his rescue attempts unfortunately he was unable to save the youngest boy and has also bit the mother.

Buddy is his name and he is a pitbull cross and has since been seized from his owners who are distraught by not only what this mother has done but also that our dog has been seized when he should be [labeled] a hero instead. Buddy doesn’t have a history of being a dangerous dog and most certainly hasn’t ever bitten anyone and has never been seized before for anything. Buddy is a member of our family and has grown up around children his whole life and has been the most [gentele] dog, he has clearly seen a child in distress and attempted to help, dogs don’t have hands to help like us humans they have to use their teeth and in doing so it’s being [portrayed] as [if] this dog has attacked the young boy.

The petition collected more than 45,000 signatures before being closed.
The boy’s body, believed to be the five-year-old, was found in the river on Saturday and the nine-year-old is being treated at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Their mother, who currently cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with murder and attempted murder.