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Having 'Faith' saves Surrey senior

Margo Hansen with her neighbour
Margo Hansen with her neighbour's three-year-old pit bull, Faith. The dog crashed through the metal gate to come between the woman and a mother raccoon and her two babies.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

Grandmother Margo Hansen had never seen anything like it in the middle of the day.

"Raccoon, Grandma!" one of the 60-year-old's grandkids shouted from a trampoline.

The large, hulking critter was wandering around Hansen's car when she heard a loud crash near her home at 134 Street and 92A Avenue.

Her next-door neighbour's three-year-old pit bull Faith had run head-first through the metal fence separating the two properties.

Faith took up a position between Hansen, her grandkids, and the feisty raccoon – who was looking to protect her young.

"I've never seen a dog do that," Hansen said. "She got in between me and my vehicles, because I didn't realize there were (baby) raccoons under there – she came over to protect me."

Faith managed to chase the raccoons up a nearby tree.

Hansen was able to get Faith back to her home, although the dog's head was bleeding, either from a tussle with the raccoon or a scrape from breaking through the gate.

"I'll be honest with you, I've always been afraid of pit bulls because of their reputation," Hansen said. "But she's such a good dog, she's so gentle."

She shudders to think what might have happened, knowing how protective animals can be around their young.

"I was out there by myself," she said.

Faith's owner Amir Malhi said he's taken a lot of time to train his dog and has spent time socializing it.

During that time, she has become fond of Hansen and her grandkids.

Malhi is keeping an eye on Faith's wound, making sure it doesn't become infected.

He said there's a meadow behind his home that's inhabited by lots of wildlife, including raccoons and coyotes, and they are beginning to encroach on the nearby homes.

"Winter's coming and they're going to be coming out a little bit more, looking for food during that time," Malhi said. " I don't want something to happen to (Hansen) again. If our neighbour is getting attacked, Faith's not going to sit there, she's going to protect her."

He said the meadow is city property that's seldom trimmed, which makes it the perfect home for the raccoons and other animals.

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