IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) – The Havens family says their chihuahua pit bull mix, Lady, saved their four children from a mountain lion that was stalking them in their front yard.

“If she had not been there, this would have been a very different tragedy. I could have been laid up in the hospital going against that lion if she had not been there,” Lady’s owner Virginia Havens said.

Havens says that on June 14, her kids and husband were outside their home. The kids were on the swing set and her husband was working in the garage when Lady began barking.

“The nature of her barking was so uncharacteristically aggressive,” Havens said.

She says her husband then spotted a large mountain lion inside their fenced area and within seconds, Lady was charging it.

“Isabella was on the swing … and the cat was right behind her,” Havens said.

She, her kids, and her husband all rushed into the house and watched helplessly as the big cat and Lady went at it in the yard.

“I wanted to help. We don’t have a firearm. I didn’t have anything to intervene,” Havens said.

According to Havens, they watched from an upstairs window as Lady was pinned by the cat. She started throwing heavy objects out the window at the cat, like a pair of rollerblades, while her husband shot at the cat with a BB gun.

Havens then called 911, saying that officers with the Idaho Springs Police Department showed up in just a few minutes and began shooting non-lethal rounds at the mountain lion.

“I don’t know how many times they shot at her but it finally let go of her bloody muzzle and walked up the hill and disappeared,” Havens said.

Lady was somehow still able to walk to the backdoor and come into their home. That’s when Havens realized the extent of her injuries.

Havens says Lady’s chances of surviving and recovering from the injuries were very slim, so the family ultimately decided to have Lady put to sleep. The whole family was at the ER vet at the time.

“She saw them. She was trying to jump out of my husband’s arms to be with the kids again, but she was whimpering uncontrollably,” Havens said.

She says the family thanked Lady and told her they loved her before saying goodbye.

“If she had not been there, the kids would have been really, really in danger,” Havens said.

The family has adopted a new puppy from the same rescue where they adopted Lady. His name is Boaz and he is helping the kids heal.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed they went out to investigate where the incident happened. They looked for the cat, but it was never found.