DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two years after army veteran Antoinette Brown was mauled to death by a pack of dogs near Dallas’ Fair Park, it would appear that dangerous dogs are still a problem.
There have been two near fatal attacks since April. Ronnie Bell, 57, was put on life support after he was attacked by a neighbor’s dogs earlier this month.
“They were eating him. They were literally eating him…they ate his muscle out of his arm,” says Dawn Foster, Bell’s sister-in-law. “No one should have to suffer like that.”
Family members say Bell was attacked by three dogs while walking home from a convenience store near I-20 and Polk on June 16. They say two of the dogs were pit bull mixes and had been known to be aggressive. Bell’s niece says the same dogs chased her and her husband three years ago.
“It could have been one of us…or a child,” says Sarah Sheller, her eyes filling with tears. “I’m just thankful he’s alive.”
The attack left Bell on life support. He was, for a time, in a coma and in the ICU. On Tuesday, he was better; but, facing a lengthy hospital stay and recovery.
A team of doctors at Methodist Dallas Medical Center–including trauma, orthopedic and plastic surgeons– are working to avoid amputating the severely damaged arm. Family members say barring infection doctors are hopeful that that
Bell would be able to save his arm–although it would be immobile. He underwent surgery today and is said to be in good spirits. His family shared a photo of him giving the thumbs up sign. He is asking for prayers and working to sty positive. But, the attack is another tough blow for a man who earned a living doing odd jobs in the neighborhood.
Foster says the dogs’ owner has been to the hospital to pray with the family and appears remorseful– however, they say being a responsible pet owner would have served everyone better.
“[For a ] non vicious dog to go violent like that–it doesn’t make any sense,” says Foster. “It doesn’t add up, something’s not right.”
On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council is expected to vote on a plan to strengthen the city’s “dangerous and aggressive dog ordinance.”
The measure calls for fines of up to $500; but still appears to rely heavily on voluntary owner compliance to prevent attacks like the one that nearly killed Bell.
Family members say Bell has no health insurance.
They’ve set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money for his medical bills.