A Boaz couple says their two miniature Schnauzers were stabbed and are expected to recover after they saved them from an intruder who entered their Lester Drive home Friday night.
“They’re our heroes,” Mary Cornelius said.
The intruder has not yet been identified and there was no information available from Boaz Police Saturday about the ongoing search for the suspect.
Cornelius and her husband, Chris, had been out with friends Friday and got home at about 8 p.m., she said.
They put on pajamas and settled down to watch a movie when they noticed their dogs, puppy Darcy and nine-year-old Bella, responding to their German Shepherd, barking from the back yard.
“It was a different kind of bark,” she explained. “I don’t know how to describe it.”
An open door, the sound of footsteps
Her husband looked around and asked, “Why’s the door standing open,” Mary Cornelius said. She’d just asked him if he’d left it open when Bella and Darcy bolted outside, and the couple heard someone running down the eight steps leading to their garage.
Her husband quickly followed, and the couple heard one of the dogs, Bella, howl in pain.
“He had cut her across the back,” slicing into the muscle, Mary Cornelius said.
Then they heard the smaller dog, Darcy.
Later, they would discover that the intruder had stabbed and slashed Darcy’s neck and thrown the pup into the rain-swollen creek outside their home. Mary Cornelius said her husband was able to grab the dog and came back to the house with their wounded pets, telling her to call 911.
“I can’t praise the Boaz Police Department enough,” Cornelius said. “They were there within five minutes.
“They were just as outraged as we were.”
The police set up a perimeter, she said, and wouldn’t let anyone onto the road where they live — a residential area of Boaz near Sardis City. Sardis police assisted, she said, and Albertville’s K-9 unit came in to help.
Cornelius said the police K-9 was able to track the intruder, who apparently went down Oak Drive, running alongside the creek to a certain point where he went into the water — six feet deep — then got back out.
“The dog lost him there,” she said. But he’d been tracked almost to Sardis Road, she said. As to his intentions in coming in their home, Cornelius can’t say.
“We had left the door unlocked,” she said, “so that’s our fault.”
They do not normally do so, Cornelius said, even though it has been a safe neighborhood. She said she never would have imagined someone would just walk into their house.
All the lights were on in the house, and two cars were parked in the garage — all things the intruder could have easily seen. Cornelius believes the suspect came in, heard their voices and ran, with encouragement from Bella and Darcy.
The road to recovery
Cornelius and her husband believe Bella probably bit the intruder, “and that’s OK,” she said. They think the dog latched onto his leg, and that’s when he slashed her across the back.
The dogs are expected to be OK.
Bella needed about 10 staples to close the gash. Darcy was seriously injured.
Both were taken to Huntsville, to an emergency veterinary clinic.
The couple stayed with the dogs for much of the night. They were able to bring Bella home before morning, but a doctor said the veterinary staff needed to determine how serious Darcy’s injuries were, Cornelius said.
They got home at about 4 a.m. Saturday, and they were able to go back later that morning to get Darcy, she said, noting that the puppy came home with a drain in her neck.
Both dogs have pain medicine and antibiotics.
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Nothing was taken from the Cornelius home.
They were fortunate, Cornelius said, but she believes they were protected, too, by their small dogs.
The couple posted about the incident on social media because they wanted to warn their neighbors about what happened, Cornelius said.
The incident, she said, is a reminder the time we live in.
Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at 256-393-3284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.