An attack by four loose pit bulls caused an Oklahoma woman on an evening walk to lose an arm after she was “almost eaten” by the animals who dragged her down the street, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department tells PEOPLE.
The owner of the dogs is under investigation for possible criminal charges in the Saturday attack, says Master Sgt. Gary Knight.
Terri Cosby, 54, was walking around 9:30 p.m. when confronted by the dogs, who pulled her down the street before police summoned by a 911 call arrived and fired gunshots that struck the animals and ended the attack, Knight says.
The incident was captured by the officers’ body cameras.
“It’s a gruesome scene. It’s a heart-wrenching scene,” Knight says. “It’s something that’s very difficult to look at.”
Cosby was taken to the OU Medical Center in critical condition, where doctors amputated her right arm above her elbow, local TV station KFOR reports.
“The doctor said her arm was like hamburger meat, the one arm that she lost,” Cosby’s sister, Beverly Golden, told the station. “They couldn’t save it. They couldn’t reattach it.”
“That’s what we’re relying on is for God to work a miracle in this situation,” said Earnestine Grayson, Cosby’s mother. “And, I believe he will.”
Golden has set up an online fundraiser to support Cosby’s medical treatment.
One man who was bitten himself said he tried to draw the animals’ attention in an effort to save Cosby. “That’s the only thing that kept them from killing her the way they was doing it,” Butch Alford told KFOR. “They was just snatching meat off of her.”
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Says Knight: “She was very close to being mauled to death.”
“There is concern she could lose even more limbs,” he tells PEOPLE. “She was truly mauled head-to-toe by these dogs.”
The dogs’ owner was also injured, though not seriously, while trying to hold back the animals, Knight says.
Officers fatally shot two of the dogs at the scene, according to police. A third dog shot at the scene was later euthanized. The fourth dog, captured by animal control officers, also was euthanized and tested for rabies.
Authorities say animal control officers have twice responded to calls about the animals in the past two years, once when one of them attacked and killed a Chihuahua belonging to Rosetta Pierce, she told KFOR.
“One of them had my puppy in his mouth, that big white one, and they were shaking back and forth and he was hollering,” Pierce said.
Police still are investigating the owner’s role in the attack on Cosby, including reports that a backyard gate at the owner’s residence was accidentally left open by a visiting worker, allowing the animals to get out.
“That’s certainly something the investigation will at least look at,” Knight says. “We will present the case to the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office and they will make the …read more