WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) — A Wheat Ridge woman saved the life of a dog being strangled in a Walgreens parking lot.

A customer alerted Rita Snyder and her manager that something seemed very wrong after hearing the sounds of a dog in distress.

“Can you believe it, I was only working three days at Walgreens,” Snyder said. “I just started there.”

Rita Snyder saved Roni, who was being strangled by a woman police say was having a mental health crisis.

Dog in parked car was crying in pain

On her third day. her service was called into action after a customer reported hearing a dog in a parked car, crying in pain.

“The dog was biting her and screaming and barking and yelping,” Snyder said.

Wheat Ridge Police said the woman in the car was having a mental health crisis.

“I didn’t know at the time it was a phone charger around her dog’s neck and was choking it,” Snyder said.

Snyder and her manager were able to get the dog, named Roni, from the woman and call police.

“She pushed the dog outside of the car and we got the dog from running into traffic,” Snyder said. “I was horrified.”

Roni is safe now at a local shelter. Snyder said her family is first in line to adopt Roni after she recovers from treatment for her wounds.

The woman accused of hurting Roni is being charged with felony animal cruelty.