JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 57-year-old Jacksonville woman who was hit by a dog attack last week is fortunate to have survived thanks to a neighbor who overheard her desperate for help.

Just before 9:30 a.m. on Friday, the woman was talking to her dog towards the backyard when she fell to the ground. Then another dog belonging to a relative attacked her.

I heard: ‘Help me. Help me.’ Screaming, ”recalled her neighbor, 48-year-old Thomas Hughes.

Hughes, who lives across the street, immediately ran over to see what was going on.

“I saw the dog – pit bull – chew on the neighbor,” he said.

The woman asked Hughes to bring the other dog into her house.

“When I had the other one following me to her back door, I turned and the one she bit came running towards me at full speed,” said Hughes.

Hughes now had the pit bull’s full attention as his neighbor hobbled back into the house.

“He caught my left finger and then he chewed the top and the side of my hand and basically had my whole hand in his mouth,” said Hughes.

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Hughes said he managed to reposition himself so he could press the dog’s head. He said it took 20 minutes for a police officer to put the dog on a leash and tie it to a tree.

Both Hughes and his neighbor were taken to Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. His neighbor’s injuries were so severe that police feared they might lose one of her legs. Hughes said the last update he got from her family was that she went to therapy on Wednesday and will stay with a friend until she can walk up the stairs.

Looking back on what happened, Hughes said he has no ill will against pit bulls and hopes the public does not see all pit bulls as attack animals.

“Not all dogs are like this and not all pit bulls are like this. Many are dossal. My daughter has one. My friends have them, ”he said.

The dog that attacked the woman was confiscated by animal control and declared a dangerous animal, which means the dog could be euthanized.

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