Old Yeller contracted rabies after a wolf bit him. Old Yeller defended his family from the wolf; however, due to the fear of infecting the family, Old Yeller was shot and killed by his owner.
"Old Yeller" is a children’s novel written by Fred Gipson. In 1957, Walt Disney released a film based on the novel. The film was a success and received much attention due to the emotional scene of Old Yeller’s death. In 1965, the film was re-released and earned an estimated $2 million from rentals in North America. Gipson later wrote a sequel to the story titled, “Savage Sam.”