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Heroic pit bull saves owner's life by dragging her away from oncoming train

Custom_sam_sheepdog_300_thumb By Martha | | Comments (11)

Lily saved her owner from being hit by a train

A heroic pit bull named Lilly saved her owner from certain death after after pulling her clear from the path of an oncoming freight train. The woman, Christine Spain, had fallen unconscious alongside the train tracks in Shirley, Massachusetts last weekend on her way home from a friend's house. 

The engineer of the freight train saw Lilly valiantly drag Christine away from harm's way. He attempted to stop the train, but could not avoid hitting the 8-year-old dog.

The woman was uninjured, but Lilly was not as fortunate and suffered life-threatening injuries. When emergency workers arrived at the scene, the bloodied dog was still standing guard over her owner. First responders marvelled at Lilly's calm demeanor despite her injuries and among all the chaos at the scene.

Lily saved her owner from being hit by a trainLilly was first rushed to an emergency animal hospital in Acton and then transferred to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston by Christine Spain's son, Boston Police Officer David Lanteigne. Lanteigne rescued Lilly three years ago from a shelter. He got Lilly as a therapy dog for his mother, who has suffered from alcoholism for nearly her entire life. Lilly's companionship has helped curb Christine's drinking, and now saved her life.

David said Lilly and his mother share a special bond. "Lilly means the world to my mother, who doted on the dog from the moment she came to live with her. Lilly has also played a crucial role in helping my mom drastically reduce her drinking. 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."

Lilly was treated by veterinarians at Angell for a badly sliced front foot, broken pelvis and internal injuries. Her right front leg could not be saved and had to be amputated, and steel plates were inserted into her pelvic bone. She is now recovering at the hospital, her kennel decorated with presents brought by her family, friends and neighbors.

Lily saved her owner from being hit by a trainLilly faces a long road to rehabilitation, but, the veterinary team is optimistic that the courageous spirit will help her on her path to healing. Dr. Meg Whalen said: "She's got the character and spirit that sometimes trumps all of our medical advances when it comes to recovery. I think she's got what it takes to get back to her former self."

MSPCA-Angell has set up a fund to help with Lilly's care and treatment.

When Lilly is well enough, she will go home to live with David, his girlfriend and their two Golden Retrievers (two buddies whom Lilly adores). Christine has moved in with David to help with Lilly's care and Lilly will be regularly checked by the veterinary team at Angell as she recovers. 

 


Story Update May 10, 2012:

MSPCA Angell has announced they have received an astounding $60,000 in donations to their Pet Care Assistance fund. This will cover all of Lilly's care and then some! The additional monies will help support families like Lilly's, help pay medical care costs for the homeless animals in their adoption centers and treat animals that are victims of cruelty. The MSPCA said: "Thank you so much for your contributions, your well wishes and your many messages of support for Lilly, her family and the medical staff at Angell Animal Medical Center."

Here's the latest photo of Lilly commencing her rehabilitation at their center.

Lilly undergoing rehabilitation


Story Update June 14, 2012

Lilly continues to heal, getting stronger every day. She and her family are embracing her new-found celebrity status to do good, helping to raise awareness of canine issues and support of community efforts.

If you happen to be in Jamaica Plain this weekend you can meet Lilly and her owner Police Officer David Lanteigne and maybe even get a "pawtograph". She will be attending the premiere screening of a documentary called "Tough Love" that highlights the revolution of dog training towards positive reinforcement training away from harsher, dominance-based training.

The film is screening at the MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Center on Sunday at 5pm. After the showing, Lilly will take the stage. 

Lilly in rehab

In related news, Lilly lost her buddy, Penny this week. David Lanteigne said his beloved Golden Retriever passed away quietly and peacefully at home surrounded by her loved ones.

Other than being tired, Penny had not shown any illness, but when they brought Penny for a check up and were told she had maybe one or two days to live.

Lanteigne wrote on his "Lilly the Heroic Pit Bull" Facebook page: "I'm a firm believer she stayed strong, hid all her pains and held on until she knew Lilly was home and we were going to be OK. Surrounded by her family she continued to be brave, not showing any weakness up until her final breath when she peacefully went to sleep and up to Doggy Heaven."

He adds he  "I want you to absolutely cherish and not take for granted the time you have to spend with your loved ones. We will all certainly miss her but we will never forget all the wonderful times we've spent together."

Lilly and Penny


Update July 10, 2012: Lilly the survivor fights to make a comeback! What an inspiration!



View more articles in: Community News

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Comments on this Article

I REALLY hope this woman didn't "fall unconscious" from being drunk and poor Lilly is going through all of this because she's an alcoholic! I don't believe they would be able to get her an artificial limb(prosthetic) because if you look in the picture she doesn't have any part of that leg left so they don't have anything to connect the prosthetic to, prosthetic legs attach to the end of the amputated leg and it looks like they amputated hers all the way up to her body :'( My thoughts and prayers are with you Lilly! You're an amazing hero!! Get well soon sweetheart! All my love!
I brought Turbo into our home for myself, thinking one of the side effects might be that it would help my husband get out of the house walking, make him a little happier, drink less. Pretty stupid of me. I left the husband a year later. While we share custody, Turbo stays most of the time with me and that is where he is happiest. Never think that anything you can do will fix an addict or alcoholic. They made a choice, it wasn't you.
I have a Newfoundland, and one of the very first dogs he met out of our house was a Pit Bull. They got along great. Every Pit I've met has shared 3 traits - super strong, very friendly, and having the energy of 10 dogs. People should think before type-casting Pit Bulls as dangerous. They used to be known as the best family dog, until abused in dog-fighting. Love your pet as family, and be responsible with them, and these problems will disappear.
In general, dogs (and cats as well) don't really need prostheses, since they have four legs, when they lose one, they can still get around fine. Prostheses are pretty tricky to fit and use and in most cases they would just get in the way and prevent the dog (or cat) from moving around easily.
Love u Lilly!! I salute u ... U have a brave heart!!! And Ur definitely an Angel.... Get well soon ..God bless u
I agree with Lisa. Surely if $60.000 was raised, they could provide Lilly with an artificial limb! This dog seems intelligent enough & dedicated to handle this. My Heart goes out to her, will be praying for her speedy recovery.
Actions do speak louder than words.....when the time came, Lily showed what she is capable of........self scrafice for the person she loves.............what a wonderful and encouraging story of love. I hope Lily and her mom have a long and happy life together:))))
Go sweet Lilly, go! Hugs and kisses.
And people claim tbulls should be banned? Pitbull owners who subject their pitbulls to dogfights should undergo psychological evaluation because they are a rare breed of sick-holes!!!! if you get what I mean... This story is a testament to the pitbull breed, that they are the same as any other dog breed, capable of loving and caring for their owners.. it's the bad owners that give them the bad stigma. Get well soon, my little angel...
A Dog will risk their lives for you, but would you risk yours for theirs? Praying that Lily will recover fully, it is unfortunate that her leg had to be removed. Maybe the Vet can produce a artificial attachment for her. Bless you Lily, sending all our love ❤ your way.
Get better Lilly sweet angel.
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