Courteney Cox's dogs got loose and darted into traffic, and despite her efforts to save them ... it was a good Samaritan who came to the rescue.
The "Friends" star was desperately trying to chase down her 2 beloved pups on treacherous Pacific Coast Highway Wednesday after they ran off from her nearby Malibu mansion ... and she couldn't keep them from running into a very dangerous situation.
Fortunately for Courteney, a quick-thinking paparazzo driving by saw the dogs and pulled over, jumped out of his car to stop traffic ... and managed to scoop up both little pooches before they got hurt.
Much of the dramatic scene -- in the L.A. rain, no less -- was captured by the guy's dashcam.
We're told when he returned the dogs to Cox, she thanked him profusely and told him, "You saved my dogs' lives!"