Pit Bull Loses Leg Saving Owner From Train
Rescued dog rescues Massachusetts woman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2012 1:23 AM CDT
Updated May 10, 2012 1:50 AM CDT
Lilly is recovering at Boston's Angell Animal Medical Center.   (Angell Animal Medical Center)

(Newser) – Pit bulls get a lot of bad press, but here's one that put her powerful jaws to good use. Lilly, an 8-year-old Massachusetts pit bull, saved her owner from an oncoming freight train after the woman passed out on railroad tracks late at night. Lilly managed to pull 54-year-old Christine Spain clear in time, but the dog was hit as the driver tried to stop the train. She suffered internal injuries and needed to have her right front leg amputated. Lilly has undergone surgeries twice since the accident, and vets believe she will be able to walk again, ABC reports.

Spain's son, a Boston police officer, says Lilly was a rescue dog he gave to his mother as a therapy dog to help her tackle alcoholism and depression. His mom had mostly quit drinking until tragic family news brought on a relapse last week, he says. "We saved Lilly, and Lilly saved my mom's life," he tells the Sentinel and Enterprise. "My hope is that this story is going to get out and show what pit bulls are truly about. I hope by Lilly going through this, it's going to get other dogs homes." He says his mom—who has been charged with animal cruelty and walking on a railroad track—and Lilly will be staying with him when the dog is released from the animal hospital.