Defuniak Springs boy saves cousin from dog attack

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 9:55 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - March 27 started like any other day. Rylee, Miloe and their cousins were outside playing at their grandparents’ house in Defuniak Springs.

“So we were playing outside,” Miloe Burgess said. “I was playing in the backyard and she (Rylee) was throwing a stick.”

However, things soon took a turn for the worse.

“I don’t know what happened, but I know she was screaming,” Miloe said.

A dog started attacking 3-year-old Rylee, and 10-year-old Miloe sprang into action.

“He laid on top of me,” Rylee Foreman said.

“Instead of her bleeding a lot, I’d rather just stay there with her,” Miloe said.

As Miloe protected his cousin, he called for help, and his grandma was able to get the kids inside and away from the dog.

After 24 stitches in her arms, legs, and feet, Rylee is able to play with her cousins again, but their family says without Miloe, things could’ve been much worse.

“I don’t know if she’d be here today,” Miloe’s mom Doria Andersen said.

At just 3-years-old, Rylee is thankful for her cousin’s bravery.

“Do you think Miloe is your hero now,” we asked Rylee.

“Yes,” she said with a smile.

Monday Miloe, who loves to fish, was honored for his actions. A local business, Yellowfin Ocean Sports, and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office gifted him a new fishing pole, tackle box, and lures.

Officials say they don’t see kids this young doing things this brave very often.

“Just to show that they were brave,” Animal Control Officer Cary Miller said. “Being their age, as young as they were, to step up and take those steps.”

As for why Miloe chose to save his cousin instead of running to get help, he said, “If something happens to family I’m just going to protect [them].”

Because of that choice, Miloe will always be Rylee’s hero, and although Rylee walked away with 24 stitches, Miloe had only one single scratch.

Copyright 2022 WJHG. All rights reserved.