PHOENIX - The Phoenix Fire Department says two people were attacked by several dogs they care for near 35th Avenue and Deer Valley Road Saturday.
A man and his friend were sitting on the back porch when she reportedly accidentally spooked the dogs.
The dog owner, a 62-year-old man, and his friend are being treated at the hospital. The man is in critical but stable condition and the 40-year-old woman is in critical condition.
Nicholas Reed, a neighbor, said he heard the homeowner and his friend screaming during the attack.
"On the porch, being eaten to death by their dogs. And it freaked me out. I didn't know what to do. I wasn't going to go in the gate, because I didn't want to get attacked myself," he said.
So Reed ran home and grabbed his shotgun. He said the homeowner and the woman begged him to shoot the dogs.
"I told them to protect themselves, and they covered up, and I shot my shotgun and shot one of the dogs. And it caused the other dogs to leave them and quit attacking them," Reed said. "I don't know if they're going to make it or not, but it was pretty traumatizing on me."
Firefighters described it as a very vicious attack.
“The female was bleeding a lot and we were lucky that we were able to extract her from those dogs and get her immediately to the hospital and get advanced life support started on her," said Captain Rob McDade of the Phoenix Fire Department.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control confirmed that one of the dogs died. Animal control is now securing the other four dogs in an isolated area of the dog owner's property.
The Phoenix Fire Department said they think the dogs are shepherd mixes, but neighbors think otherwise.
"He started out with a 98-percent wolf, and then from there they started inbreeding. So there are a lot of inbred dogs," Reed said.
Reflecting back on what happened, Reed said he realized he may have saved their lives if he hadn’t have taken the actions he did.
“I understand that he was in the Vietnam war and he fought 20 years in the war, for our country,” he said. “ He did everything he could to protect our country and I feel like I had to give back to protect him.”
“I just hope they make it and I think that he should no longer be able to have dogs over there,” Reed said.
On Sunday morning, the homeowner's sister, who owns one of the four living dogs, surrendered them to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.
She chose not to have her dog euthanized, but as far as the other three, the owner will have to decide.
Because of the severity of the attack, Animal Control said they could file a petition in the court system to try to get the dogs labeled as vicious.
The dogs, who were properly licensed by the owner, are quarantined for at least 72 hours.
The case is still under investigation.
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