Adam Pearl of Meridian, Idaho, owns a pet squirrel named Joey, who enjoys Whoppers (the candy) and running around Pearl’s home, occasionally spooking guests. 

Joey doesn’t usually bite, Pearl told KIVI, “but you never know,” he added, “because he is a squirrel”—a squirrel, we now know, with a protective streak for his owner.

Or at least his owner’s house.

Because on Tuesday, when a burglar entered, hoping, apparently, to make off with some of Pearl’s guns, Joey sprang into action and attacked, driving the thief from the home with much less loot than he hoped for. (Pearl’s gun safe was never breached.)

Joey’s heroism might have gone unnoticed except for an observant cop, who saw some scratches on a suspect’s hands. When asked if it was the work of a certain squirrel, the suspect admitted it was. 

“He said, ‘Yeah, damn thing kept attacking me and wouldn’t stop until I left,’” Pearl said the cop told him.

You probably shouldn’t keep a pet squirrel for a lot of reasons, but Pearl and Joey seem to be getting along for now, even if Joey probably just wants to spend his days hanging out with other squirrels and not being called to violently defend his master’s stuff.