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IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) – The Havens family has credited their chihuahua pit bull-mix, Lady, with saving their four kids from a mountain lion that was stalking them in their front yard.

“If she had not been there this would have been a very different tragedy. I could have been laid up in the hospital going against that lion if she had not been there,” Lady’s owner and mother of four, Virginia Havens said.

Havens said that on June 14, her kids and husband were outside their home. The kids were on the swing set and her husband was working in the garage when Lady began barking.

“The nature of her barking was so uncharacteristically aggressive,” Havens said.

She said her husband then spotted a large mountain lion on the inside of their fenced area and she said within seconds, Lady was charging it.

“Isabella was on the swing facing this way and the cat was right behind her,” Havens said.

She, her kids, and her husband all rushed into the house and watched helplessly as the big cat and Lady went at it in the yard.

“I wanted to help. We don’t have a firearm. I didn’t have anything to intervene,” Havens said.

Havens said they watched as Lady was pinned by the cat from an upstairs window. She said she started throwing heavy objects out the window at the cat, like a pair of rollerblades, while her husband shot at the cat with a BB gun.

She then called 911. She said officers with the Idaho Springs Police Department showed up in just a few minutes when they began shooting non-lethal rounds at the mountain lion.

“I don’t know how many times they shot at her but it finally let go of her bloody muzzle and walked up the hill and disappeared,” Havens said.

Lady, she said somehow was still able to walk to the backdoor and come into their home. That’s when mom said she realized the extent of her injuries.

“She had compression trauma from the bite, that’s why her eye was bulging. Her snout was pierced on the underside that’s why she had labored breathing and she had three holes in her skull,” Havens said.

The family ultimately had to make the decision to put Lady to sleep. A choice that wasn’t easy but Havens said her chances of surviving and recovering from the injuries were very slim. The whole family was at the ER vet when they made the decision.

“She saw them, she was trying to jump out of my husband’s arms to be with the kids again but she was whimpering uncontrollably,” Havens said.

She said then, that the family thanked Lady, told her they loved her and she was taken back to be put down.

“If she had not been there the kids would have been really, really in danger,” Havens said.

Now their hero, Lady, is all over their home through photos and paintings.

The family has adopted a new puppy from the same rescue they adopted Lady from. His name is Boaz and he is helping the kids heal.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed they went out to investigate where the incident happened. They did look for the cat, but it was never found.