Society

Pit Bull Attack: Calif. Woman Wraps Around Beagle to Save Pet, Suffers Severe Bites

| by Denise A Justin

A Modesto, California, woman was severely mauled by two pit bulls while walking her Beagle on Thursday afternoon.

The woman suffered bites and lacerations over her entire body when she was attacked in the 1500 block of Theresa Street northeast of Orangeburg Avenue and Carver Road, Modesto police spokeswoman Heather Graves told the Merced Sun Star.

Cynthia Bassett, who helped save the victim, told reporters that her next-door neighbor warned her Thursday morning that two vicious dogs were roaming the neighborhood.

A few hours later, she noticed an animal control officer driving around in the neighborhood looking for the dogs but – as Bassett learned later – the officer did not find them until after they had attacked a woman as they attempted to get to her beloved Beagle.

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The woman wrapped her body around her dog in a fetal position to protect the Beagle as the Pit Bulls tore at her flesh, the Sun Star reports.

“She looked like a shark attacked her,” Bassett said. “Her skin was pulled back and all the muscles were exposed.”

About 1 p.m., her neighbor said she heard the sounds of the attack and ran outside. Bassett was joined by her next-door neighbor and they both ran toward the animals.

“It was getting more aggressive and I could hear screaming,” Bassett said. “They looked like they were on top of another dog, but when I was about 2 yards away, she tried to stand up and I realized it was a human being.”

Bassett’s neighbor kicked the Pit Bulls, and scared one off immediately. He repeatedly kicked the other one until it eventually ran back through a hole in the fence around its yard, at the top of which are posted two “Beware of dogs” signs.

Other neighbors came out to help, Bassett told the Sun Star. Several kept the dogs at bay while she and another woman wrapped towels around the victim’s wounds.

The woman was taken to a Modesto hospital for treatment and dozens of stitches – including up to 30 stitches for one bite alone.

The Beagle was not harmed, Bassett said.

The dogs’ owner, Ray Samol, said he was shocked by the attack, which he learned about when he came home from work and found animal control still at the scene.

He said that his dogs never have been violent and that there was no hole in his fence when he left for work Thursday morning.

Samol said he probably will not try to retrieve his dogs at the end of the 10-day quarantine.

Annette Patton, executive director of Stanislaus Animal Services, said if the owner of a dog quarantined for a dog bite does not retrieve the animal, it ultimately will be euthanized. The agency cannot adopt a dog that has bitten a human, she said.

Source: Merced Sun Star