Texas mom Genola Vance couldn’t have guessed that the Labrador Retriever mix her family adopted from the shelter would possibly help spare her son’s life.
Nolan is just nine months old, but he keeps an eye on Vance’s young son, according to WFAA.
Last week, the dog followed Vance’s son outside when he went to take the trash out with two of her nephews.
The three children, aged five to seven, were outside their apartment complex when a man in a hoodie approached Nolan and shot him in the face after muttering an apology.
The children frantically ran to the mom and explained what happened, Vance said:
“They said he just looked at them, said ‘sorry,’ and then shot him. He ran by me into the house and there was blood everywhere.”
Nolan was rushed to VCA Metroplex Animal Hospital where he underwent surgery to repair the injury to his face. The bullet entered and exited the dog’s jaw.
The mom said she thinks that Nolan may have prevented her son and nephews from getting shot by the stranger. She told WFAA:
“I think if Nolan wouldn’t have run outside, maybe this man would have shot one of the kids. He took a bullet for my family.”
Police are now on the search for the man who committed the unprovoked attack on the dog, according to Newsweek.
Authorities said in a statement:
“The unidentified suspect, described as an adult male in a black hoodie, approached the children and the dog. The suspect pulled out a gun and shot the dog in the face. The dog sustained [a] major injury to his mouth. The unidentified suspect then fled on foot.”
A local SPCA chapter paid for Nolan’s emergency surgery. He’s now recovering with medication and a fixator that’s secured to his jaw. Vance said:
“At the end of the day, I’m just happy he’s alive and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make him better.”