Kelly Bartlett and her family have always been pit bull people.
In their home on Main Street in Loganville, Wis., they now have three pit bull puppies. The Bartlett’s own two, and the oldest is a foster dog.
Bartlett started housing the dogs to fight the breed’s negative stereotype.
She said her latest pets are playful and love to cuddle, but while she feels protected by them, she couldn't imagine that they would save her from serious harm.
"I never knew that they would be here to help protect me to that degree," Bartlett said.
Bartlett was resting in her bedroom Wednesday night, recovering from the flu. Her husband and children were out bowling to give her some quiet time in the house.
"I heard barking and howling and banging of the door and banging of the gate," Bartlett described.
It was a warning from the dogs. The stove started leaking gas unexpectedly, and the Bartletts still don’t know why it happened.
They have since replaced the appliance, but Bartlett would have never known without her animals.
"It was really thick down here, and my first concern was I had a hard time down here just being down here for a moment, my poor dogs have been down here breathing it," Bartlett said.
Bartlett said if she or her family had inhaled enough of the fumes, they could have gotten gas poisoning. She couldn’t imagine what kind of damage would have ensued if something had sparked in the kitchen.
"What if all of us were home, you know?" Bartlett wondered. "I would have never known without them here."
Just as the Bartletts saved their dogs from being strays, the three four-legged friends came to the rescue.
"These are amazing dogs," Bartlett said, "and it's heartwarming to know that I have them and they're here."
Bartlett said she plans to install a carbon monoxide detector after this incident.
The Bartletts adopt and foster their pit bulls through an organization called "Remember Me Ranch."
For more information on that Baraboo-based organization, visit their Web site.