PALMETTO BAY, Fla. (WSVN) — An elderly woman said she is lucky to be alive after she was left wounded and scarred by two dogs from her Palmetto Bay neighborhood.
“I just kept yelling, ‘Help me! Help me!’ and I didn’t feel like I even had a voice because I was so scared,” said 75-year-old Syl Hatfield.
Hatfield’s arms, legs and feet were left covered with bruises, stitches and puncture wounds left from the Oct. 6 attack.
“I think, in two more seconds, I would have been dead because they had worked their way up. I was a rib. The were eating two ribs or four ribs, and the next was my neck,” she said.
Hatfield said she was taking a morning walk at around 7 a.m. when she was attacked. She said the dogs’ owner intervened before the ordeal turned fatal.
“Just about when they were going for the jugular, the owners came out and called them off,” she said. “It happened very quickly, and I just thought there was no way I could fight them off.”
Hatfield was later hospitalized.
Photographs taken the day of the attack show purple, swollen puncture wounds on her body.
“When you see the photos of the flesh, it looked like a hamburger or a slaughter place,” said Hatfield.
She said the dogs were an American bulldog and a pit bull mix.
The dogs’ owners would not comment on the attack. A sign on their home reads, “Warning — Protected by Guard Dogs.”
“There are fang marks all over, inside of me,” said Hatfield.
“This is particular,” she said pointing to her right ankle. “I realized they were out to kill when I saw them rip a piece of stuff out of my ankles.”
Hatfield remains in a rehabilitation center, where she spends her afternoon breaks on a walk with her best friend Jan Luyks.
“This was the worst thing that I’ve ever seen happen to a human by an animal,” said Luyks.
Luyks said she had spotted the American bulldog several months before Hatfield was attacked.
Luyks said the dog was following her husband. She was so concerned by what she saw that she took video of the dog as it crept closer.
“I know it’s the same dog,” said Luyks.
Hatfield said she still gets flashbacks to the morning of the attack.
“Put a price on human life, the dogs don’t come first,” she said.
Miami-Dade Animals Services said the dogs are now in their custody. The department released a statement that reads, “The two dogs involved in the severe bite incident were seized by the Miami-Dade Animal Services Department. The dogs are being held without the possibility for release during the ongoing dangerous dog investigation.”
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