FLORIDA -- A shelter dog has been hailed a hero after saving a Florida girl from an alleged attack by a registered sex offender.
The 17-year-old was volunteering for St. Petersburg animal shelter Friends of Strays when she took Mabeline, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, for a walk.
But as the teenager walked down a path behind the building, the attacker allegedly chased her down, grabbed her by her hair and pinned her to the ground.
Police said Michael Bacon, a registered sex offender, overpowered the girl and she was unable to escape his grip.
But the 38-pound dog, who had never before displayed any aggression or guard dog tendencies, began barking and managed to scare the attacker off, allowing the girl to escape.
Mabeline, who has been described as an 'absolute sweetheart', has since been adopted by Mary Callahan after the attack victim could not take the brave pup in herself because a family member is allergic.
Callahan was stunned when she found out about her new pet's valiant actions. ‘I looked at my dog and I thought, “You are a hero,”’ she said.
The shelter said they are no longer allowing volunteers to walk dogs down the same path where the attack happened.
Bacon has since been arrested and charged with false imprisonment.