Charlotte Maughan was too flustered to find her gun, so she grabbed her husband's.
“It's a 9 mm,” she said. “I had said to him, ‘We need to go to the range and let me practice with this gun.' I didn't know if I could shoot it. Well, I can.”
She walked out of her southwest Oklahoma City home, told the crowd to step back and shot and killed two dogs attacking her family's dog.
“I didn't know what else to do,” she said.
Maughan was not cited, but the owners of the two attacking dogs were.
Maughan, 60, said the family dog, Mollie, is owned by her son, Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan. The dog spends time at both of their homes and with a neighbor.
Charlotte Maughan said she was walking Mollie across the street to her son's house when two dogs attacked.
“I screamed,” she said. “I just dropped my purse. ... I picked up rocks and threw them at them. I kicked at them. Brian was doing the same thing. He went in the backyard and got rebar and hit them with that, and they still wouldn't budge.”
Brian Maughan said it was one of the scariest moments of his life.
“They shot after the dog, ripping her end to end,” he said. “The flesh (was) literally torn down to the bone.”
The dogs picked up Mollie and dragged her through the street and other yards, Charlotte Maughan said.
“Blood was coming out of her mouth,” she said, “and I thought she was gone.”
Neighbors arrived and tried to help pull the dogs apart, Charlotte Maughan said. An older neighbor was swatting at the attacking dogs with her broom.
“To witness that firsthand, it's the most helpless feeling,” she said.
Maughan said she thought her dog would die, so she decided to get her gun.
When she returned, the two dogs still were attacking Mollie. She killed one dog with one shot and the second with two.
“They were no longer dogs to me,” she said. “They were a threat to me.”
The two dogs that attacked Mollie were a bull terrier mix and a pit bull terrier mix, said Rodney Pesch, Animal Welfare Field Services Unit operation supervisor.
Animal welfare officers picked up the deceased dogs, which were later identified by their owners, Pesch said. The dogs' owners, who live down the street from the Maughans, were cited for failing to confine their dogs and not having current rabies vaccinations for the animals.
The names of the dogs' owners were not released Thursday.
Brian Maughan said the event made him think about how vulnerable children or older adults would be to a similar attack.
“What if it had been a human being?” he said. “That's just what was really scary about it.”
Mollie underwent surgery Thursday, and the prospects are good, Charlotte Maughan said.
Brian Maughan said his mother's actions likely saved his dog and possibly prevented injuries to neighbors.
“These dogs were going to kill whatever they could get,” he said. “They were just out to kill something.”
Charlotte Maughan earned her concealed-carry permit about a year ago, she said. She got the permit with encouragement from her husband after a rash of neighborhood robberies and break-ins, she said.
Charlotte Maughan said she didn't know if she had the courage to fire a gun in self-defense.
“I do know now that I could defend my family if I had to,” she said. “I didn't think I could.”