Last week, a seeing eye dog became a hero twice in one night, chasing away burglars in her blind owner’s home and then leading her owner to safety out of the gas-filled residence — she even called 911.
It started when the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, woke up around 3 a.m. to the sound of her dog barking, according to the Daily News. The blind woman heard several voices in her home, which is in the Holmesburg neighborhood of Philadelphia. Her guide dog, Jolanda, then went after the men, chasing them from the house.
The woman soon afterward smelled “a strong odor of natural gas,” said Capt. Francis Bachmayer, commanding officer of North East Detective Division. The culprits had turned on her gas stove, filling up her house with the explosive chemical.
Jolanda knew what to do.
“I taught her to call the police,” the victim told WPVI. “I have a phone for a blind person, she calls 911 if something happens to me.”
The police on the way, Jolanda quickly led her owner out the door.
“This was a very dangerous situation,” said Bachmayer. “The offenders we believe got in through the rear basement, forcing the rear basement door. At 3 o’clock in the morning, it could have been a very serious situation.”
“She saved my life,” said the victim. “She takes care of me in case somebody breaks into my house.”
The victim’s neighbor and friend, who also didn’t want to be identified, said the burglars are people who have continually harassed the woman. She said they had tried to break in two times before and had even tried to poison the dog.
The neighbor also said that the victim is the widow of a New York police officer and had lived there only a few months.
“It makes me angry, she’s a defenseless woman,” she said. “Plus, she’s blind.”
Luckily, she had Jolanda to protect her.
Police have arrested one suspect, charging him with attempted murder and burglary. He’s in jail on $500,000 bail. Police are still looking for the second burglar.