The Rehabilitation of a Hero Dog

An eight year old pit bull has been recovering in the care of a Massachusetts animal hospital after conducting a remarkable rescue mission in May of this year. According to witnesses, the heroic dog saved the life of her owner just before she was hit by an oncoming freight train.

The Massachusetts SPCA said Christine Spain of Shirley was walking home with her dog Lilly when she collapsed on the tracks. Spain’s son, Boston Police Officer David Lanteigne, says a train’s engineer watched in amazement as the dog moved her owner out of harm’s way. Traveling at a high rate of speed, the train was unable to come to a stop, and Lilly was hit seconds after saving Spain.

“The engineer said as he was coming up, he saw the dog pulling her off the tracks. But there wasn’t enough time,” Lanteigne said. “He then saw the dog come around between the train and my mom and take the hit of the train.”

That heroic deed came at substantial cost: veterinarians were forced to amputate a badly mangled leg that was beyond repair. Lilly also suffered a broken pelvis, but remarkably, she is starting to bounce back. While receiving treatment for her injuries, the brave dog has been showered with letters of appreciation as news of her story spreads. ‘Jake the vet’ recently checked in on her progress, and offers an encouraging report in a new video released today.


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  2. Cassie says on  07/10/2012 at 9:05 pm

    gee and people bag the crap out of pitbulls!!!

  3. God bless her little heart

  4. I thought those kind of dogs were dangerous to people, specially to children…

    • Anonymous says on  07/10/2012 at 11:29 pm

      Just goes to show how narrow minded you are. Pits and Staffys are some of the best dogs with children, far more loyal and tolerant than stupid Labs

      • Anonymous says on  07/12/2012 at 8:56 pm

        labs are just as sweet i’ve had three and love them to death and yeah i wish i could have a pit bull cause they are also loving and just as sweet as my labs have been

    • Anonymous says on  07/13/2012 at 12:44 pm

      julie the pitbull is actually known as the nanny dog i have seen more mutts attack kids and adult then i have pitbulls

      • Anonymous says on  07/13/2012 at 7:06 pm

        Most dogs that are called pit bulls are actually plain old mutts. Let’s just call a dog a dog and judge them by the deed not the breed.

        I’m so tired of people judging a dog solely by the way it looks.

        Are all Border Collie type dogs crazed over-achievers?

    • felecia says on  07/13/2012 at 5:25 pm

      its not the dog that is the problem. its the owner. they think that just cuz they are used for dog fights they are bad and vicious. they are bred that way. u get them in the right hands and they are perfect and wouldnt hurt a fly.

      • Anonymous says on  07/13/2012 at 6:12 pm

        All dogs take on their owners inner temperment. Character. The dog will do things in a moment that the owner only would want to do. People with no character will own a pit bull to protect their stash and make them appear to be some kind of a badass’

  5. Sumi says on  07/10/2012 at 9:06 pm

    I hope the owner got sober. She passed out on the tracks drunk, and that is why Lilly had to save her. She should either get sober or find a better home for the dog. Don’t want the dog to be in danger again. Dumb ass lady.

    • Hello Pit Bull says on  07/16/2012 at 12:50 pm

      I think Lilly needs a new owner as much as she needed medical care. Don’t get me wrong – the dog’s actions are truly amazing. But I think the story of a hero dog is overshadowed by the story of a completely irresponsible and unsuitable owner.

  6. stay strong Lilly!

  7. Kelly says on  07/10/2012 at 9:06 pm

    way to go lilly !

  8. Fay says on  07/10/2012 at 9:07 pm

    hey Julie….it’s not the breed of dogs it’s the owners…..good onya Lilly ♥♥

  9. Gee, maybe Belfast City Council should read this story. Lilly is a perfect example of why this breed should not be discriminated against! Get well soon, Lilly!!!

  10. Mellysa says on  07/10/2012 at 9:08 pm

    good well soon <3

  11. Rhonda says on  07/10/2012 at 9:08 pm

    (¯`v´¯) Glue this Heart at the wall of people who love Lilly ♥
    Always in our heart ♥

  12. I’d love to watch it but it’s hard!

  13. David says on  07/10/2012 at 9:10 pm


  14. Anita says on  07/10/2012 at 9:10 pm

    Ohhhh…. hero is she…hope she feel find soon..little ona <3

  15. Kim says on  07/10/2012 at 9:11 pm

    Julie no “kind of dog” is dangerous to anyone. It’s how the dog was treated by hateful humans that make it “dangerous” and even the most abused and so-called vicious dogs can be shown love and respect and be helped to become wonderful companions and even therapy dogs FOR KIDS!

    • Anonymous says on  07/11/2012 at 11:50 am

      Alcoholism is a disease… one the the worse :( I no wot I am talking about as my mom was heavy duty 1…We are not to judge, all we can do is praise the brave dog. Trust me nobody is as sorry as the lady herself. Hopefully she’ll learn frm her mistake and they all will live fine lives together. I wish all of them the best.

  16. Sweet sweet puppy.

  17. for all those laws which euthanize Pitbull breeds – Wish they learn from this!

  18. Yay Lilly!!!!

  19. Just goes to show how inteligent dogs are yet people are still allowed to abuse them in the most horrid ways if a dog can think of pulling her owner to saftey knowing the train would hit her hard enuff to kill her or amputate her serverly to death, then im sure a dog thats being beat or neglected feels pain and has emotions and a thought process as gd as ares to want better in life :( fucking cunts who ever hurt or abuse animals!!!!

  20. Rocco says on  07/10/2012 at 9:16 pm

    Whatta sweet little angel!

  21. Kevin says on  07/10/2012 at 9:16 pm

    Lilly the Hero Pit Bull – love to see your gorgeous sweet face all over the internet!!!!!! Love all the beautiful comments for you, Christine, Dave, and all of your family!!!

  22. way to go lilly <3<3 U R SHOWING THE GREAT SIDE OF YOUR BREED!

  23. I <3 MY PIT BULL! <3 <3 <3

  24. Marlies says on  07/10/2012 at 9:19 pm


  25. Lindy says on  07/10/2012 at 9:19 pm

    I had read the original story and have often wondered how Lilly is doing. I am so glad to know she is doing well.

  26. That saying really is true, A DOG IS THE ONLY BEING THAT WILL LOVE YOU MORE THAN THEY LOVE THEMSELF. I Love you Lilly.

  27. Mary says on  07/10/2012 at 9:20 pm

    Keep healing, baby. You’re doing great!

  28. She’s a big girl now!!! :)

  29. Julie – it is those who RAISE them. I have two pit bulls and they are my world. I have tons of little cousins and both my dogs are wonderful with them. Not to mention that they are very protective of them. Stop penalizing the breed when it is the HORRIBLE people who should be looked down on.

    • Anonymous says on  07/13/2012 at 6:20 pm

      People vote and dogs cannot. Politicians are whores up for grabs by any one who will pay them enough. They cater to the whims of who pays them enough. PETAD. They hate humans like Hitler!

  30. Cindy says on  07/10/2012 at 9:26 pm

    Sweet Lilly girl, keep getting better!!! You are in great hands and love to see your progress. You look just like my baby girl Holly, such a sweet face <3 Lots of kisses!!!

  31. Breed discrimination drives me crazy

  32. Bella says on  07/10/2012 at 9:28 pm

    Yayyy lilly! keep getting better as the days pass! prayying for u and your fam!

  33. Sharon says on  07/10/2012 at 9:31 pm

    How anyone could learn of Lilly’s heroism & still believe that Pit Bulls are a vicious breed is beyond me. It’s the owners who are vicious not the Pit Bulls. Dogs are amazing, intelligent, giving, loving & devoted creatures — & that definitely includes Pit Bulls! Lilly is a perfect example of this.

  34. Pamela says on  07/10/2012 at 9:32 pm

    Sweet and best friend.

  35. I was the one who wrote directly to Neil / LWD’s regarding my friend Kim who was facing living in her car with 2GSDs & 1 GSDmix, & her cats. I never, ever realised how severe breed discrimination was over in the US, & how ignorant some people really are concerning certain breeds (just see one or two comments on this post above).

    We have a lot of discrimination here in the UK too, & just like you, I make a firm stand & say ‘It is never the dog, but the owner’.

    Lilly you have do much live & healing prayers coming your way, keep fighting! <3 xx

  36. Beth says on  07/10/2012 at 9:36 pm

    what a little trooper!

  37. Peg says on  07/10/2012 at 9:43 pm

    Sweet angel. I hope she makes a full and complete recovery. God bless her little loving and giving heart.

  38. Renate 'Logan says on  07/10/2012 at 9:49 pm

    awesome dog! this story really needs to be spread so it can help dispell that bad image that pitbulls have!

  39. Cathy says on  07/10/2012 at 9:51 pm


  40. Lily is a hero big time!!

  41. Julie :-(( It’s ignorance about “dogs like that” that make me sick. The problem is the people NOT the dog ALSO any dog can be “that dog” doesn’t matter what breed or size. I have a rottie and a friend with 2 pit bulls and my kids have played with them and been just fine. Maybe you need to meet and spend some time with “these dogs” they are wonderful and very loyal when treated and trained correctly

  42. My daughter had a pit bull named Lily that was one of the sweetest, most likable dogs I have known. Unfortunately her Lily got a severe fungal infection and had to be put down.

  43. Jessie says on  07/10/2012 at 10:08 pm

    oh I am so glad shes pulling through !

  44. what an amazing dog, and what a loving group of people to support her
    God Bless you

  45. Cristy says on  07/10/2012 at 10:10 pm

    What an incredible dog!!! Would love to know address of where to send card/gifts for Lilly!!!

  46. This lady should cherish Lily, she needs to make sure she gets all the treatments for Lily, this precious dog saved her life and almost die, this lady is so lucky she. Was with Lily when she colaps, if she would of been with a human forget it she would of die, sadly humans dont care about no body else but them selfes , I hope Lily gets better and be happy again:-)

  47. Tracy says on  07/10/2012 at 10:20 pm

    Just noticed the son in this story has my same maiden name

  48. Louise says on  07/10/2012 at 10:23 pm

    Lily is an incredible dog with a courageous heart! It’s so wonderful to hear a positive pittie story in the midst of so much negative press coverage. Although I’ve never owned a pit bull, I adore them and it’s always been clear to me that they are sensitive, loyal and very sweet. Breed specific legislation is cruel, baseless, and does not work. No dog deserves to be discriminated against when barbaric, thuggish people continue to get away with abuse and mistreatment. The law is looking at the wrong end of the leash!

  49. OMgosh I fought tears watching and reading this….amazing. Dogs are just awesome!

  50. Everyone be nice to Julie. She is uneducated on the topic, but seems willing to learn. People like her are not the problem, it’s the ones who embrace breedism whole-heartedly because of a story they heard from a friend or, more likely, on the news. Julie, like everyone said, breeds have some minor differences like how much they enjoy splashing in puddles, but none of them are born to harm, born to snap, or born to be aggressive. Whether you get a pit or a yorkie or a great dane, it will behave however you raise it to behave. Pit attacks are (maybe) more common because of there is a type of person that is drawn to them, and how that person in turn treats the dog. Not just dog fighters, but also people who just plain neglect their dog instead of treating it like a pet. A dog living on a chain in the back yard cannot be held to the same standard as one snuggled up on the couch. But there are a hell of a lot more pits living on a chain eating what it can find than there are golden retrievers. Of course, that’s only a small portion of pit owners, because most of them are great, upstanding people who raise great, upstanding dogs. But nevertheless, the “thugs” and wannabe badasses out there are plentiful enough to have an impact on the statistics. What has a greater impact on stats, though, is people misidentifying pits in the first place. They are a pretty regular looking type dog (a friend of mine adopted what we all thought was a pit, but after DNA testing turned out to be half lab and half mastiff, zero pit), and the go-to breed when it’s time to identify the dog that just bit someone. And if it’s a pit/lab mix, do you suppose it will go in the books as a pit mix or a lab mix? Hmm… Add the media’s bias toward sensationalism and a good scary story, the public’s fear and lust for blood, and you have a crappy situation for the dogs turned against the dogs themselves.

    Like all other breeds, they are a great breed. They do have their characteristics, including loyalty and eagerness to please, which is part of what makes them such great fighting dogs for any criminals out there. I’ve never had one, but I have volunteered (okay, played) with many at the local shelter and so far they’ve all been happy, affectionate, fun, social, very strong dogs. I hope to have one someday.

    Also, I think Julie might have been being sarcastic.

  51. pamela says on  07/11/2012 at 2:08 pm

    So much for the bad pit bull dog! Its a shame that anyone would make such an attack on a breed of a dog when the dogs demeanour is determined by its owner. Bad attitude Joe could make a chocolate lab the most wanted dog on the FBI hit list if he treated him mean and horrible and turn him into a snarling grizzly dog. These or any dog can be just as smart and loyal as this pit bull Lily. I am glad this was published because it brings awareness to the general public who have already made up their minds that all pit bulls are dangerous when they are really are not! Well done Lily GOOD DOG! <3 Your going to be hearing that for a long time! :)

  52. tizalee says on  07/11/2012 at 4:53 pm

    I think somewhere I read that the woman/owner was drunk-she has an alcohol problem-I hope they both heal together-Precious dog!

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