FORT BEND COUNTY -

A Fort Bend ISD bus driver is being hailed a hero. She put herself at risk to save a little girl from a dog attack by using a blue bucket she keeps on the bus to collect trash.

“It could have turned for the worse," expressed Denise Dalcoe, Fort Bend ISD bus driver, "but there is no way you can sit by and let a child be in harms way. No way.”

Like she does every afternoon, Denise Dalcoe had just dropped off her last student and was heading to the middle school for her next route when she saw and heard something terrifying.

“I looked up, a grandmother was yelling, 'Help me! Help me! Please, please help me!'” said Denise.

That grandmother was crying for help to save her 9-year-old granddaughter Rebecca from a dog attack.

The young girl was walking home from school when she attacked by the pit bull at the corner of Quail Run Drive and Lone Quail Drive just across the street from her house in the Quail Run Subdivision in Missouri City on November 20.

Denise was driving by when she saw the attack. She rushed from her bus to the little girl, swinging her blue trash bucket and yelling to scare off the dog.

Little Rebecca Hernandez also tried to fight the dog. She put her hands in it’s mouth to get it to loosen it's grip.

“I just thought he would just like let go and stuff, but he didn't," said a timid Rebecca. "He just started growling, getting on me.”

With the help of Denise, a bat swinging grandma and a neighbor with a broom, the dog let go and ran off.

Denise waited with the girl until police arrived and she was taken to the hospital. Doctors counted 13 puncture wounds on her legs. Eleven of those wounds were on her left leg.

Both Rebecca and her mom are grateful Denise was driving by to save the girl from further injury.

“I thank God that she came out, and I really thank the Lord for putting her there," expressed Jenny Hernandez, Rebecca's mother. "I mean I really appreciate it, and I thank her.”

"I would like to say, 'Thank you Denise for helping me on that day,'" said Rebecca.

When officers arrived, there were able to corner the dog. Animal control then showed up and took the dog away. They tested the animal for rabies and tested negative. Jenny said the dog was put down last week.