Boston police have stepped up to cover the medical bills of a puppy that was shot in Dorchester early Thursday.
Ten-month-old Fellony was struck by a bullet around 1 a.m., in a shooting that injured an 18-year-old woman on McLellan Street.
Police say the dog, believed to be a Mastiff-Shar Pei mix, protected his owner.
"He was limping, and you could tell he had obvious signs of distress. He was panting, drooling," Officer David Lanteigne said. "That dog put himself in front of his owner and took a bullet for him."
Fellony was rushed into surgery, but his owner couldn't afford his medical bills. So Lanteigne, his partner, Officer Brian Smith, and their supervisor, Sgt. Tommy Brooks, offered to pay for the dog's medical bills.
Sgt. Brooks handed over his credit card with an agreement to split the the costs among all three, as well as other generous donors at the Boston Police Department. Fellony's owner was surprised and grateful.
"I think he was shocked. He definitely wasn't expecting it," Lanteigne said.
Lanteigne has a very personal reason for helping Fellony. His family dog, a pit bull named Lilly, saved his mother's life in 2012
Lanteigne's mother had had a relapse during her battle with alcoholism and passed out on the train tracks in Shirley. Lilly was seen dragging her to safety.
"She saved my mother, but Lilly, our dog, was hit by the train. She ended up needing full amputation of her arm," he said, adding that she also needed a steel plate in her pelvis.
The MSPCA and complete strangers donated to cover Lilly's care, and now Lanteigne runs a non-profit called Lilly the Hero Pit Bull, which helps cover the medical bills for dogs like Fellony.
"The dog was in front of his owner. And if he wasn't in front of his owner, we don't know what would've happened," Lanteigne said.
Boston police say the woman who was shot has injuries that are not life-threatening.
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