Tim Frawley of Laguna Niguel was walking with his daughter and Charlie, the family’s Golden Retriever, on the San Clemente Beach Trail just before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, when suddenly two Pit Bulls ran across the sand and immediately attacked the gentle dog, he says.
"This thing was horrific," Frawley said. "Both Pit Bulls started yanking and pulling and biting and ripping flesh off my dog. My daughter … is screaming, ‘They’re killing him! They’re killing him! He’s going to die right here!’"
"We were just north of the pier, past the lifeguard station, and two animals are running toward us," Frawley told Adam Townsend of SanClementePatch.com. "As soon as they got there, they attacked. They tore off his ear, both legs in the front are injured, one was down to the tendon, massive tears to his back where they pulled his skin off."
Frawley and his 25-year-old daughter, who was visiting from San Francisco, were finally able to pull the pit bulls off with the help of passersby on the beach trail. ’ We both fought tooth and nail with these two dogs,” the Orange County Register reports.
“My daughter and I got the two dogs away -- we were sitting on their limbs," Frawley said. "I'm on 911 and I've got hold of one leg twisted around. I don't know if he's going to turn around and bite me at any minute."
Frawley said another couple of walkers mercifully took the injured retriever up behind some bushes out of the Pit Bulls' sight.
Charlie, was later treated at San Clemente Vet Hospital and is recovering from serious injuries.
Frawley and his daughter both sustained non-life-threatening injuries but he did require stitches. One of the "good Samaritans" who helped in the struggle sustained a broken thumb, according to the report.
A lifeguard and others also made multiple calls to 911, according to San Clemente Police dispatch reports. Orange County Sheriff's deputies and Coastal Animal Services Authority staff responded. Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Steve Gil said that by the time deputies arrived, walkers had detained the dogs.
Frawley said the Pit Bulls’ owners arrived and took them away with choke collars. It is unclear how the dogs escaped and got on the beach, the Patch reports.
"[The pits' owners] say they're going to pay for everything, but I'm not sure what my plan of action is," he said.
Charlie has serious bite wounds over most of his body from the brutal mauling.