Stray Pit Bull Saves Woman, Child from Attacker

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The wandering 65-pound Pit Bull mix might have seemed menacing to some passerby, but one woman will always remember him as her “guardian angel.”The dog, which authorities think is lost and not a stray, successfully thwarted a robbery attack on a mother and her 2-year-old son, who were held at knifepoint Monday afternoon.

The Florida woman, who has been identified by authorities simply as “Angela,” was leaving a playground with her toddler son in Port Charlotte when a man approached her in the parking lot with a knife and told her not to make any noise or sudden movements.

Angela didn’t have to do either to protect herself and her child — a dog mysteriously ran to the scene and charged the man, who quickly fled.

“I don’t think the dog physically attacked the man, but he went at him and was showing signs of aggression, just baring his teeth and growling and barking. It was clear he was trying to defend this woman,” Animal Control Lt. Brian Jones told Pet Pulse.

“I don’t know what this man’s intentions were, but it is very possible this dog saved her life.”

The exceptional part of the story, Jones said, is that the dog had never met or even seen the people it quickly jumped to defend. “You hear about family dogs protecting their owners, but this dog had nothing to do with this woman or her kid,” Jones said. “He was like her guardian angel.”

After the alleged thief ran away, Angela quickly placed her son, Jordan, in the car and tried to drive off. Before she could, though, the dog jumped into her backseat, waiting with her for the police and animal control officers to arrive at the scene.

The dog was transported to a local shelter and if his owners don’t step forward within five days, Jones said, Angela and her family plan to adopt the savior she named “Angel.” Animal control officers and shelter workers believe Angel is lost, and not a stray, because of his good health, sturdy weight and mild temperament.

“It’s funny, that someone’s irresponsibility could have saved someone’s life,” Jones said of Angel’s possible owners.

For Angela, it doesn’t matter where the dog came from, just that he was there when she needed him most. “I don’t know what his [the thief’s] intentions were — I don’t know why he did it, but I’m glad that — we call him Angel — I’m glad that Angel showed up because I don’t know what would have happened,” Angela told NBC2 News.

For a small town with a population of 46,452, animal control officers were kept busy Monday afternoon. Jones says they department also responded to a report about a boa constrictor in a church parking lot. The snake found its way into a car engine and was able to be removed without being harmed. It took three people to move the massive, seemingly random placed snake.

“It’s funny, because we aren’t a big place,” he said of the Gulf Coast town. “And we can go for four or five months without the media contacting us about a story. It’s been a busy week.”

Officers from the responding county sheriff’s office canvased the area and were unable to locate the suspect described as being in his 20s, tall and dark haired.



  1. We hope Angela gets to keep Angel. What an incredible story!

    Love ya lots
    Maggie and Mitch

  2. Dogo Mom says on  02/03/2011 at 1:16 pm

    Again, its the owner not the breed. This dog was obviously raised with a family and apparently knows his way around a car. Great story especially since it could have 2 endings both happy, either back with original owner or with new greatful owner.

    • Amy says on  02/05/2011 at 5:09 pm

      The dog died years ago, read my comment later on

      • Michelle says on  02/05/2011 at 5:15 pm

        read the story on Petfinder. Don’t see where he died. Had to go to Zootoo to see original story posted in 2008. Still didn’t see where the dog died. And nothing states this is not true, just that some people don’t want to believe it’s possible.

  3. Diane says on  02/03/2011 at 1:17 pm


    • Michelle says on  02/05/2011 at 4:47 pm

      Diane I agree with you 100% and think that if an owner steps forward that they were probably very responsible. If not I think they should call this dog Gabriel

    • Amy says on  02/05/2011 at 5:10 pm

      The dog died years ago. See my comment later on

      • Michelle says on  02/05/2011 at 5:17 pm

        I did see your comment later on and don’t see where he died. And if he did, what difference does it make? Death does not change what happened

  4. Ann Y says on  02/03/2011 at 1:17 pm

    <3 <3 <3 tp Angel!!! Hope his familiy is looking for him … if not I know he will have great Mama and little brother anyway!!!! <3 <3 <3 . Hope the boa gets a new warm house too. 😀

  5. Corinne says on  02/03/2011 at 1:17 pm

    What a great dog,lets hope he gets the home he deserves.

  6. That’s a wonderful story. We just hope that everything ends up great for “Angel”. He certainly deserves the best.

  7. Angela Jordan says on  02/03/2011 at 1:45 pm

    What a beautiful story! There’s so much bad PR out there when it comes to Pit Bulls. We definitely need to demystify and debunk the stigma! They are angels…so glad this Angela found her “Angel”….I have certainly been blessed by finding mine. Thank you so very much for this post! You’ve made my heart smile!

  8. Pam says on  02/03/2011 at 1:51 pm

    I’m so happy she’s going to step up and offer her home to him, if his real owners aren’t found. Karma, baby!

  9. Love stories like this! Yay dogs! I think that human is right, Angel is a Guardian Angel. How miraculous that he appeared at the exact right moment? And knew to stay as a just-in-case until help arrived? Amazing story! Dogs rock!


  10. I am so very happy to finally see a PAWSitive story about this magnificent breed! Far too often we hear the bad news but this breed is so very misunderstood and I am so very happy that Angela see that. Thank you Angel for being a brave dog! I wish you a very happy and healthy life filled with love.

  11. SSB Pack says on  02/03/2011 at 2:35 pm

    Hurray for pitties! This story should be all over the news. When the stories are bad and involve pit bulls the media is all over it like a shark feeding frenzy. They owe it to this breed to showcase this story as a great example of the breed. I hope whoever comes to claim this wonderful and clearly handsome dog, gives him the forever home he deserves.

  12. Theresa says on  02/03/2011 at 3:45 pm

    What a clever and brave dog!

  13. Anonymous says on  02/03/2011 at 6:48 pm

    I live in Port charlotte/Punta Gorda!!!!

  14. Leah says on  02/03/2011 at 7:33 pm

    Love this story! I wish it would get as much coverage as all of the negative news we hear about pit bulls.

  15. great story!

  16. Anonymous says on  02/04/2011 at 1:54 pm

    wow…this is a really good story about pitbulls. you so often only hear about the bad concerning ptibulld but it is nice to hear something good about them for a change.

  17. Judie For my puppy mill dog Abby says on  02/04/2011 at 6:36 pm

    Be ware, you may be entertaining angels unaware…

  18. Amy says on  02/04/2011 at 10:11 pm
  19. While questioned by MARS, the following still holds true:

    “Though MARS rescuers questioned the woman’s story about the attack, Carpenter says police have no reason to doubt it.

    Pet Pulse’s queries to the police department also confirmed the report as legitimate.

    Angel went to the Punta Gorda Animal Hospital, in Punta Gorda, Fla., after MARS gained legal custody of him. There, veterinarians discovered that Angel had heartworms. The dog credited with saving a life now faced a danger of his own.”

  20. Joanne says on  02/05/2011 at 7:26 am

    Angel may have saved her own life too in the long run. Great story!

  21. I’m forced to close this thread to avoid having to babysit skeptical comments based on third hand knowledge.

    Those with an interest in this story can see the link above and decide whether the police or MARS have the facts straight.

  22. I got one I love with all my heart she a great girl! Brave I’m not so sure once win my 21 year old step son came home a little 2 tipsy at like 3 in the mornin an fell an took out a 40 gal fish tank I wake up to the sound of glass brakin an the sound of rushin water I was frozzen with a wisper to my husband some ones in the house so he gets up mined u my pig pig witch is in the pic sleep between us well hubby gets up fines out wats goin on my hearts racein he comes backin the bedroom tells me wat happened as he’s gettin back under the covers mined u pig pig the dog has been layin under the blankit eyes open growling lmao she was frozzen to :)) my husbands say thanks for the help pup an she licks him an we fall back to sleep…