FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — This weekend, Fort Wayne residents enjoyed warm spring weather.
Lisa Brittain was no different. She was soaking up the sun on Sunday, spending time with her family on the porch of her south side Fort Wayne home when a sound pierced the warm bliss of her afternoon.
“I saw my elderly neighbor sitting on the walkway up to her house, and I heard her say ‘help me help me,'” said Brittain, who says she saw two pit bulls close in on her neighbor.
Springing into action, Brittain said she grabbed a nearby broom to beat the dogs off and defend her neighbor.
But when she made contact, the dogs switched targets.
“The dog had other ideas, and lunged at me instead and knocked me onto the sidewalk,” Brittain said. “I think at first it got the right side of my leg and thigh.”
She said another family member was able to get the dog off of her for a moment before they too were bit, and the dog returned to Brittain.
“After the dog couldn’t get to her it came back to me and attacked me for the second time,” Brittain said.
This time she said the dog went after her face, but she was able to keep its teeth away with her left hand.
She said that after struggling for a while, gunfire scared the dogs off before the owner of the dogs came, and eventually so did police and animal control.
Brittain was taken to the hospital where she had multiple surgeries on her left leg, which was missing big chunks of skin.
On Monday, she was discharged.
After the ordeal, Brittain’s daughter dubbed her a “superhero.”
“Superhero… superhero, I don’t know how she had the courage to do it,” said Tierany Bell. “She saved somebody’s life.”
As for the dogs who mauled Brittain, their fate is still uncertain.
Right now, the dogs are being held, and in the days to come, Brittain and others who saw the dogs will be brought in to identify the correct dogs.
If the pit bulls that animal control is currently holding are identified, then punishment can be doled out.
“If both dogs are found to have bitten these people then they could face being euthanized through our shelter by a court order from a judge,” said Amy-Jo Sites, director of Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control.
While it’s not certain that the dogs that caused the harm will be put down, the severity of the mauling makes it likely.
“To be completely honest, we don’t normally get things that we consider mauling… this was absolutely a mauling,” Sites said.
Currently, the court process in Allen County permits a dog to be deemed dangerous enough to kill by the severity of the attack, not the number of bites.
“Right now, there isn’t a magic number of bites that has to occur, one bite could determine a dog dangerous,” Sites said. “Then we can proceed through the court process, a judge has to look at the evidence and then determine if it’s justifiable to have the dog euthanized.”