A Boaz couple say their two Miniature Schnauzers were stabbed and are expected to recover after saving them from an intruder who entered their Lester Drive home on Friday night.
“These are our heroes,” said Mary Cornelius.
The intruder has not yet been identified and there was no information available from Boaz police on Saturday about the ongoing search for the suspect.
Cornelius and her husband, Chris, were out with friends on Friday and returned home around 8 p.m., she said.
They put on their pajamas and settled in to watch a movie when they noticed their dogs, puppy Darcy and nine-year-old Bella, responding to their German Shepherd, barking from the backyard.
“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 is the door open?” said Mary Cornelius. She had just asked him if he had left it open when Bella and Darcy rushed outside, and the couple heard someone coming 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 his back,” cutting the muscle, Mary Cornelius said.
Then they heard the little dog, Darcy.
They later discover that the intruder had stabbed and lacerated Darcy’s neck and thrown the pup into the rain-swollen stream outside their home. Mary Cornelius said her husband was able to grab the dog and came home with their injured animals, telling him to call 911.
“I can’t say enough good things about the Boaz Police Department,” Cornelius said. “They were there in less than five minutes.
“They were just as outraged as we were.”
Police have established a perimeter, she said, and would not let anyone enter the road where they live – a residential area of Boaz near Sardis City. Sardis police helped, she said, and the Albertville K-9 unit came to help.
Cornelius said police K-9s were able to track the intruder, who apparently walked down Oak Drive, running along the creek to a point where he entered the water – six feet deep – then came out.
“The dog lost it there,” she said. But he had been tracked almost to Sardis Road, she said. As for his intentions in coming to their house, Cornelius cannot say.
“We left the door unlocked,” she said, “so it’s our fault.”
They don’t normally, Cornelius said, even though it’s a safe neighborhood. She said she never imagined someone would just walk into her house.
All the lights were on in the house and two cars were parked in the garage – all the intruder could easily see. Cornelius believes the unsub walked in, heard their voices, and fled, with Bella and Darcy’s encouragement.
The road to healing
Cornelius and her husband think Bella probably bit the intruder, “and that’s fine,” she said. They think the dog grabbed hold of her leg, and that’s when he kicked her on the back.
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 get Bella home before morning, but a doctor said veterinary staff needed to determine the severity of Darcy’s injuries, Cornelius said.
They got home around 4 a.m. Saturday, and they were able to come back later that morning to pick up Darcy, she said, noting that the pup came home with a drain in its neck.
Both dogs have painkillers and antibiotics.
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Nothing was taken from the Cornelius house.
They were lucky, Cornelius said, but she thinks they were also protected by their little dogs.
The couple posted the incident on social media because they wanted to warn their neighbors about what happened, Cornelius said.
The incident, she said, reminds us of the times in which we live.
Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at 256-393-3284 or [email protected]