Boy, 6, mauled while protecting younger sister from dog attack in Wyoming

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 5:48 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2020 at 11:16 AM EDT
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(Gray News) - A 6-year-old boy from Wyoming is being praised as a hero by celebrities across social media for saving his younger sister from a dog attack.

Bridger Walker jumped into action July 9 when a German shepherd mix charged toward his 4-year-old sister while the two were visiting a friend’s house. His family says while he was shielding her, the dog leaped and latched onto the boy’s cheek.

Bridger needed surgery and received more than 90 stitches.

The 6-year-old’s aunt posted his story on Instagram. She says after the attack, Bridger told his family, “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.”

The Walker family says many celebrities, including Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Mark Ruffalo, have reached out to praise the 6-year-old’s actions. Tens of thousands of other social media users have also done so.

They also had a conversation with Chris Evans, who portrayed Captain America in the Avengers films.

“We are so appreciative of all the kind words, love and prayers extended,” said the family in a statement. “May we each actively strive to bear one another’s burdens; stand up for and protect those that are weak, oppressed or those whom the world might forsake; mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that need comfort and love one another.”

View this post on Instagram

There are no words. We are so, so thankful.

A post shared by Nikki Walker (@nicolenoelwalker) on

To those who have reached out to help, the Walkers asked them to consider contributing to nonprofit organizations, including Mission 22, Operation Underground Railroad or The Wounded Warrior Project.

“May we follow Bridger’s example, approach the world as a child and bring greater peace to our own homes, communities, states and countries,” said the family in their statement.

After the attack, the dog’s owners told the Walker family they decided to euthanize it. It is unclear if they followed through, as Bridger said he didn’t want anything bad to happen to the dog.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.