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Pit Bull Saves Woman From Train

Officer Lanteigne visits with Lilly during her hospital stay.

Lilly, an 8-year-old Pit Bull from Massachusetts, rescued her owner from the train track but lost a limb after she was hit by a train. Rescued three years ago by Boston Police Officer David Lanteigne, Lilly was to be a therapy dog for his Mother, Christine Spain, who suffers from alcoholism, depression and anxiety.

As Lilly and Spain were out taking a late night walk, Spain became unconscious and fell onto the tracks just as a train was approaching. Lilly jumped onto the tracks and pulled the woman to safety. The train's engineer said that he saw the woman and her dog on the tracks and tried to stop the train but feared he had hit them both. When he exited the train, he saw that Spain was unharmed, but that the dog had been hurt and was bleeding heavily.

Animal control officers were called and rushed Lilly to an emergency hospital where Officer Lanteigne met them in the parking lot. Lanteigne feared that the dog had perished during the ordeal, but one look on her face told him a different story. "The first thing I see is just those big, beautiful eyes just looking at me, and next to her, I saw her right front paw was severely damaged," he told ABC News. "I saw her tail wagging the first time right there."

When Lilly went to live with Spain, the woman immediately took a liking to the dog and doted on her often. Lanteigne says that his Mother would often "defrosted packets of green beans to cut them up and put them in Lilly's food." He also said that his Mother's drinking decreased. "We saved Lilly, and Lilly saved my Mom's life. My hope is that this story is going to get out and show what Pit Bulls are truly about. I hope Lilly going through this; it's going to get other dogs homes."

Lilly suffered a fractured pelvis and had to have her front leg amputated. Doctors expect she will be able to walk again but believe that adjusting to three legs might be difficult for a senior dog. "She's got the character and spirit that sometimes trumps all our medical advances when it comes to recovery," says Meg Whalen, one of Lilly's doctors. "I think she's got what it takes to get back to her former self."

Lanteigne says that the accident has been difficult for his Mother but that she has been helping him get ready for Lilly's homecoming. "Lilly's been her heart and soul," he says of his Mother's relationship with the dog. "Thank God Lilly was there."