A pregnant woman ended up in the hospital when she tried to protect her dog from a pit bull she said seemed to come out of nowhere.
Stacey Rushing and her husband said the attack would have been scary for anyone, but she is more than seven months pregnant.
And they are disappointed that more dog owners aren't obeying leash laws.
The couple said they were attacked Sunday night as they were walking their dog, Velvet, in their Old Hickory neighborhood.
"I had the leash. And the dog came out of nowhere, grabbed her and that's what pulled me. I hit the concrete first. My knees took much of the fall, and I fell on my belly, so it was a very traumatic thing," Rushing said.
She scraped her knee and spent several hours at Vanderbilt Medical Center hooked up to monitors so doctors could keep an eye on the health of her unborn first child.
As Rushing was falling and Velvet was being attacked, her husband, Laws Rushing, said he acted quickly, first making sure his wife was OK, and then his dog.
"I basically had to strangle the dog for it to release my puppy out of its mouth," he said.
After the attack, Laws Rushing went back to the block where it happened, hoping to find the dog's owner. He said when he asked questions Sunday night, he was hit in the face with a fist.
"As one was talking with me, another one sucker punched me with a punch and ran off," Laws Rushing said.
The Rushings said they called Metro police, but they said it took more than an hour for police to arrive. No one was arrested for the assault, and the dog was never taken to the pound.
Now, the young couple is improving. Velvet is doing fine and going home, and their baby girl is expected in late October.
A Metro police representative said investigators are reviewing what happened Sunday. They said the Hermitage Precinct was extremely busy, but the representative said that is no excuse if the Rushing family was treated inappropriately.
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