HOUSTON (FOX 26) - When Abbey Quattlebaum took her dogs "Jay" and "Charlie" for a walk on Super Sunday in their northeast Houston neighborhood, something super bad happened.
“It all happened so quickly I didn't have enough time to respond. Out of nowhere the stray dog came,” she said.
Unprovoked, the stray came up from behind and attacked Abbey's beagle. Jay was bit around the chest before he was pulled away.
“Shaking him like a rag doll. I'm screaming trying to get the dog to stop,” said Quattlebaum.
It was Charlie who fought back and chased the violent stray away -- saving the day.
“When I rescued him from Scouts Honor Rescue I never thought he would rescue me, but he did. He's my hero dog,” she said.
The vet gave 11-year-old Jay a staple to close the bite wound, but he will recover.
“I've been in car accidents and I've been really scary situations before, but I've never been that terrified in my life,” said Quattlebaum.
She feels lucky. In 2013, less than a mile away, a woman was severely injured when she was attacked by a pack of more than a dozen dogs. Six months later, a woman was killed by 2 pit bulls in SE Houston.
“If you see a stray animal walk the other direction as calmly as you can. Never approach a stray animal. Absolutely never provoke a stray animal,” said Ashtyn Rivet with The Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control.
Harris County leads the nation in fatal dog attacks. BARC says you should call them if you encounter a dangerous dog.
“We do our best to go find that animal. If we don't find it the first day will try to go back again,” said Rivet.
In the meantime, Quattlebaum hopes that stray never comes back again.
“If Charlie hadn't been there I don't know what would've happened,” she said.