Tazi Phillips, Global Animal

Last Wednesday, Christine Spain, the mother of Boston police officer David Lanteigne, fell unconscious on train tracks in Shirley, MA. The engineer of a westward-bound freight train witnessed Lilly, a pit bull, frantically trying to pull the woman off the tracks as the train quickly approached. 

Dr. Kiko Bracker of Angell Animal Medical Center tends to Lilly before her right front leg is amputated. Photo credit: Angell Animal Medical Center

Emergency responders arrived to the scene to find Lilly calmly standing guard over Christine. Lilly’s human companion was not injured, but the 8-year-old dog was not as fortunate. A Shirley animal control officer immediately drove Lilly to an emergency animal hospital where officer Lanteigne recovered her and rushed to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.

Lilly suffered severe trauma, fracturing her pelvis in multiple locations, facing internal injuries and having her front right leg later removed due to a serious injury from the train’s wheel. 

Lilly the pit bull was rescued by Lanteigne 3 years ago as a companion for his mother who suffers from alcoholism. “We saved her life, and she saved my mom’s life.” 

At a time when pit bulls are misunderstood and stereotyped as aggressive, Lilly stands as a testament to the loyalty, bravery and unconditional love of these amazing dogs. “Lilly’s story has moved us all beyond measure. I hope her actions will underscore the truth about Pit Bulls—that they are amazing animals and are as devoted to their family as any other dog,” said Jean Weber, the MSPCA’s director of animal protection.