On Monday, a 65-year-old woman in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was going out to get her mail when a pack of three loose dogs spotted her and closed in.
Mabel Lackey yelled at them, but in the commotion she fell and the dogs started to tear her apart.
“They [saw] her checking the mail. They just came running at her,” her son, Michael Lackey, later told KOTV-DT. “She tried to run, telling them to stop, to go away. She fell down.”
“Once the two large ones started biting her the little one got around and just started pulling her hair.”
Meanwhile, neighbor Anna Marshall heard screaming from her property about an acre away. She alerted her firefighter husband, Chad, who was currently at home and off duty, and the two raced over to help.
The two courageously put themselves between the attacking dogs and Lackey. The dogs began to attack them instead.
“He said this dog was so strong it was even throwing him around, and he is a huge man,” Michael said of Chad.
The Marshall couple ended up saving Lackey’s life but requiring medical attention of their own.
“The selfless act of Bartlesville Firefighter Chad Marshall and his wife Anna today saved the life of their neighbor from a violent dog attack,” the Bartlesville Professional Firefighters Local 200 Facebook page posted later in the day.
“Chad was off duty and at home when the attack occurred. Anna alerted Chad to what was happening and neither two hesitated to help. They both sustained injuries themselves while fending off the aggressive canines.”
“Anna was treated at the hospital for her injuries and Chad was treated at the scene. Without their heroic efforts the outcome today would have been different. Bartlesville Fire employs some of the best and we are proud to have families like Chad’s to be part of it.”
Lackey was brutally injured in the attack, and it will take some time before doctors can even operate on her and get her on the road to recovery.
“They’re trying to get the wounds … straightened up so that the grafts will even take,” Michael explained. “I mean, she’s going to be in the hospital. The doctor told my dad this morning at least two weeks.”
The dogs have been captured and will be quarantined. According to locals, this isn’t the first time they’ve caused issues in the neighborhood.
“There’s no reason that dog should’ve been running loose,” Michael said. “There’s been other complaints about the dog from the neighbors that it was aggressive towards them.”
Many have commented to commend the Marshalls for their willingness to get involved and have wished them a speedy recovery. If it hadn’t been for them, Lackey could have died the day after Easter.
“I mean, it would’ve been another few minutes. There’s no telling,” Michael continued. “I mean, I really think the dogs would’ve killed her.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.