When most people take their dogs for a walk, they typically don't need to be on high alert or conscious of surroundings.
That wasn't the case for one Billings family who say that disaster almost struck if it wasn't for their family pet.
Autumn Dolbear faces a lot of challenges every day. The 16-year-old Senior High student has cognitive disabilities that make her life difficult. Most days, she finds comfort when walking her dog, Pancake, but that unfortunately wasn't the case a couple of evenings ago.
“She already struggles so much all the time that it’s just scary, and it’s not fair to her,” Autumn's mom Jessica Dolbear said Wednesday. “She’s got some disabilities, so she always takes the dog for a walk in the evenings."
According to the Dolbear family, Autumn was recently attacked in Central Park during one of her regular walks. Thankfully, Pancake came to the rescue.
“Someone came up and attacked her, but our puppy here protected her and kept her from being hurt," Dolbear said.
As a concerned mother, Jessica said it was like a scene out of a nightmare when her daughter and pet finally made it home.
“He was covered in blood," Dolbear said. "It was terrifying because you never know what would happen."
Jessica said she immediately filed a police report, and Billings police confirm officers are investigating, but a lot of questions remain unanswered.
Due to Autumn's disabilities and the fact that she was very rattled, Jessica said she couldn't provide much of a description of the suspect and actually struggled to specify exactly where the attack took place.
Police told MTN that they did speak with a possible suspect but found no evidence that the person was involved in any way.
Autumn managed to escape the attack with just minor scrapes and bruises — thanks to Pancake — something her mom is grateful for.
“I couldn’t imagine what had happened to her if she didn’t have our dog with her,” Dolbear said.