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Shelter Dog Hero

Mabeline saves a shelter volunteer from an attacker.

The path behind the Friends of Strays Animal Shelter in St. Petersburg, FL had always been a safe place for the volunteers to walk the shelter dogs. Then one day, the unthinkable happened. A man grabbed a 17-year-old female volunteer by the hair and violently pinned her to the ground. She was walking Mabeline, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix who came to her rescue.

Known as "an absolute sweetheart," Mabeline started to run away, but when the girl called for help, the Ridgeback sprang into action. Mabeline began barking and growling at the attacker until he fled. He was later caught by the St. Petersburg police and is now being held in jail for the attack.

Mabeline is being hailed a hero and her bravery has not gone unnoticed. Soon, Mabeline was adopted by Mary Callahan and she is proud of her canine superdog. Although Callahan did not know about the dog's brave act before she adopted her, the new dog owner could not be prouder. "I looked at my dog and I thought, 'You are a hero,'" says Callahan excitedly.

"She was a wonderful stray dog who came to us, and we were able to place her in a forever home," the shelter's executive director, Beverly Passe, told FoxNews.com. "We have plenty more like her who need homes, too."

Because of her actions, Mabeline was nominated for and became a finalist in the Pets of Valor Award sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS's Pets of Valor Award celebrates the bonds between people and their rescued or adopted pets by shining the spotlight on a few of the acts of bravery and devotion that happen all of the time.