DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Saturday afternoon, three North Texans couldn’t wait to give Shannon Craig, 9, a big hug. The last time they saw the boy was when two pit bulls were mauling his body on Tuesday afternoon.

As they each hugged Craig they said they were relieved he’s alive.

“Thank you for getting the dogs away from me,” Craig told the men. “Thank you!”

The three city of Dallas Sanitation workers were at the end of their shifts in an Oak Cliff neighborhood at the corner of Fordham and Summit Ridge in Dallas when they realized what was happening.

“As we were pulling up we seen some dogs drag him across the street,” said Larry Jones “Thought it was some bags or something.”

Douglas Rochelle couldn’t believe it, “He looked like he was dead,” he said.

“All the fight was gone from him.”

The men fought off the pit bulls using their pitchforks.

“I got one dog off and Larry got the other,” said Steve Thurman. “It was tough getting those dogs off the little boy.”

They eventually drove the dogs away and carried Craig to their truck.

“It still hurts,” Craig said, pointing to bite marks, cuts and bruises all over his body.

He admits he was taunting the dogs behind a fence a few blocks from his house.

“You can’t go start messing with the dogs,” Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway told the boy Saturday. “You mean to people, even with dogs, one day they will be mean to you.”

Caraway wanted to talk to Craig himself and personally thank the men who saved his life.

Craig will now always have the scars to remind him of what happened and just how lucky he was that the three men were there.

“I want someone to do it if it was one of my children or even if it was myself I would want someone to help me,” says Thurman “It’s a blessing to see him doing well.”

The dogs were caught and impounded.

Rabies testing has also been done on them and Craig’s family is waiting on the results.

The owner of the pit bulls told the city he was devastated, but willing to do whatever he needs to make sure another attack doesn’t happen again.

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