PHOENIX - The Phoenix Fire Department says two people were attacked by several dogs they care for near 35th Avenue and Deer Valley Road Saturday.
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 a pit bull mix, 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.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control said if the woman decides to press charges, they will be able to confiscate the dogs. But because the attack happened on private property, if she decides not to, they will not be able to take the dogs into custody.
However, the homeowner may surrender the dogs if he chooses to do so.
The case is still under investigation.