A Pit bull dog named Lilly is being called a hero after dragging her unconscious owner from the path of an oncoming train. Lilly’s owner was unharmed, but the 8 year-old dog was struck by the train.
While walking home from her boyfriend’s home at midnight with Lilly on May 3, Christine Spain collapsed on the railroad tracks after apparently having too much to drink. Authorities in Shirley, Massachusetts say a train was heading down the tracks at the same time.
The train’s engineer and the only witness reported seeing a dog “frantically pulling at a woman as he drew closer.” He did everything he could to stop the train. He heard a thump and thought he had hit both Lilly and her owner. When he was finally able to come to a complete stop, he found Spain safely on the side of the tracks, but Lilly had been severely injured.
The muscles and skin on her right paw were torn away, her pelvis was fractured and she had injuries to her internal organs. Lilly was rushed to a local animal emergency hospital, but Spain’s son, Boston police Officer David Lanteigne, picked her up and took her to Angell Animal Medical Clinic in Boston.
The Boston clinic had to amputate Lilly’s right front leg and is currently helping the dog recover from her other injuries.
“Lilly’s recovery from this horrific ordeal is my top priority right now and I’ll do everything possible to get her back home to us,” said Lanteigne. The officer adopted the dog for his mother three years ago.
Spain was arrested at the scene of the accident on charges of obstruction, walking/riding on a railroad track and animal cruelty. She is a recovering alcoholic.
Lanteigne said, “Lilly’s doing a lot better than she was almost a week ago. She’s on her road to recovery now.”
The officer wasn’t surprised when he learned that Lilly had come to his mother’s aid.
“This dog is truly a special dog,” he said. “She’s been amazing since day one. My mother has given anything and everything to this dog. For the past 3 1/2 years since she’s had this dog, it’s her entire life. She’s been eating, sleeping and breathing this dog. The dog is everything to her. She brings her on five or six long walks a day. She spends half an hour preparing all of her meals.”
Lanteigne hopes Lilly’s heroism will change people’s attitude about Pit bulls.
“I just want it to raise awareness on how special these dogs truly are.” He calls Lilly loving and affectionate. He also said his mother has been deeply affected by the dog’s selfless act.
Lilly’s veterinary care is estimated to cost thousands of dollars. A fund has been set up with the MSPCA.
Photo Credit: compujeramey