Two unneutered male pit bulls escaped from a yard in the 4000 block of Sixth Street in Riverside, Calif., on Aug. 12, at about 10:50 a.m. and attacked a woman who was walking her own dog. The victim was identified only as Tina by her family.
Emergency responders rushed her by ambulance to an area hospital, where she underwent surgery because of the severity of her wounds.
"They almost ripped her cheek all the way off," said Chris, the victim's son who wanted his family's last name kept anonymous.
Riverside County Animal Services issued a statement that the victim “was severely bitten on the right side of her face and also had a gaping wound on her right arm.”
The pit bulls were ages 4 months and 2 years. It is not known if both leaped over a fence or whether one may have dug under to get at Tina and her dog, Max, who were on the sidewalk.
"This poor woman was just walking down the street and [was] attacked without provocation," said Animal Services Director Robert Miller. "Her injuries are very serious and our thoughts and prayers go out to her as she recovers from these wounds."
The dogs’ owner and a relative ran out and pulled the dogs off the victim after they heard her cries for help.
“I heard screaming. Screaming like you [hear] in the movies," said Terry Fury, the owner's relative, NBC News reports. "Like people being attacked by monsters."
Animal Services officers Krista Stewart and Gary Pahls impounded the two dogs, which were signed over by the owner for humane euthanasia.
They adult dog did not have a license, as required by state law, and it was not vaccinated for rabies. The dogs will be sent to a county laboratory for rabies testing.
The owner of the two pit bulls was cited $100 for having two animals stray at large and for having an unlicensed adult dog, according to officials.
Stewart said the owner appeared to be genuinely upset about the attack, according to a statement issued by Riverside County Animal Services.
Tina's dog, Max, survived the attack, animal control officials said.
This attack occured just days after Lancaster pit bull owner, Alex Jackson plead “not guilty” to murder in the death of Littlerock jogger, Pamela Devitt. Devitt was killed last May by four pit bulls belonging to Jackson.
Her brutal death caused the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to consider a proposal by Supervisor Michael Antonovich to change the county's definition of a "potentially dangerous dog."
"Pit bulls are a different breed of animal," Antonovich said. "They're capable of incredible damage to humans, to other dogs, to horses."
At the time of the deadly attack in Los Angeles County, Riverside had recently begun working on an ordinance that would require pit bulls and pit bull mixes to be sterilized.