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.”