BOSTON (CBS) – A pit bull hit by a freight train last week is being credited with saving its owner’s life.

Christine Spain of Shirley was walking home from a friend’s house on May 3 when she collapsed on the tracks, according to the MSPCA.

Spain’s son, Boston Police Officer David Lanteigne says the train engineer told emergency responders that her 8-year-old pit bull named Lilly managed to pull her off the tracks to safety as the train approached.

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

The dog suffered a broken pelvis and a right front leg injury that was so severe, doctors needed to amputate the leg.

“My mother was okay. But Lilly, she didn’t fare as well,” Lanteigne said. “She saved my mom’s life.”

Lanteigne says his mom has suffered from depression and alcoholism throughout her life. He adopted Lilly as a therapy dog about three years ago. He says the dog has been a great companion and has helped Spain with battling those illnesses.

The MSPCA says anyone looking to donate to help offset the cost of Lilly’s surgeries and recovery can visit their website.

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