Shelter dog saves teenage volunteer from attack

A shelter dog is being hailed as a hero after saving the life of the young volunteer who walked her.

When her 17-year-old walker was attacked, Mabeline, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, sprang into action.

A 17-year-old volunteer at the Friends of Strays animal shelter in St. Petersburg, FL, was walking Mabeline on a path behind the facility when the unthinkable happened: A man chased the volunteer down, violently pinning her to the ground. As the volunteer tried to get away and escape the attack, the man grabbed her by the hair. It seemed that all hope was lost.

That’s when Mabeline, a 38 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, jumped in.

Though the Friends of Strays shelter staff describes little Mabeline as a sweet dog, the pooch was able to scare the attacker away. By barking and growling at the man, Mabeline potentially saved the volunteer’s life, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Mabeline’s life has also changed for the better since her brave act. Mary Callahan, Mabeline’s new owner, is proud of her superdog. Callahan did not know about Mabeline’s heroic deed when she decided to adopt her, but now she couldn’t be prouder. “I looked at my dog and I thought, ‘You are a hero,’” Callahan gushed.

The suspect, registered sex offender Michael Bacon, 41, has admitted to the attempted attack. Bacon has been arrested by St. Petersburg police and is now being held at the Pinellas County jail.