Pete, an English Setter, is being hailed a hero, after losing his life protecting his human family and the family’s other dogs. The brave dog had been adopted from Our English Rescue Setter shelter just 18 months before the tragic incident.

The dog was out hiking with his family in northern New Jersey when he and some other dogs surprised a bear.

The black bear started attacking the dogs but instead of running off, Pete stood up to the bear and held him off while the other dogs were rushed to safety.

Announcing the heartbreaking loss on twitter, a family friend wrote, “So our friends lost their sweet setter Pete today …He and some other dogs surprised a black bear while on a hike.

“Pete bravely protected the rest of the crew who got to safety. Pete later succumbed to his injuries. He was an older guy and went out a true hero. RIP PETE THE HERO!”

The touching post quickly went viral with thousands of people sending messages of condolence to the family and lots of praises for this selfless and loyal dog.

One commenter wrote, “We don’t deserve dogs!”

The Independent reports that the dogs were out with Me & My Shadow Pets daycare service.

In a heartbreaking Instagram post, the family explained what happened, “Today we lost our brave, old man Pete. The dogs surprised a black bear just off the trail while we were hiking this morning. It must not have heard or smelled us with the pouring rain.

“It felt threatened and turned around. Pete stepped up and held off the bear until I could get the other dogs to safety. Once I was sure they were safe, I went back and scared the bear off, but Pete was gravely injured. The x-rays revealed some pretty bad spinal damage that would mean he could never walk again, if he survived all the surgeries (not a certain thing at his age).

“We decided it was best to let him go this afternoon.”

They say a dog is the most loyal friend, this story proves just that and beyond. Rest in Peace poor Pete.

Please share to send love and strength to a family who has lost a very special furry friend and family member.

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