A woman who slept with her dog was almost eaten alive when the canine snapped and devoured “half her arm.”
Tya Lucas, 41, was at home in Lewisville, Texas introducing her new puppy Roo to her friend Peter, 33, on May 16 when her nearly 100-pound pit bull Hercules went crazy.
“The puppy went to jump on the couch so I went to pick the puppy up and my friend told him to get down,” she told Kennedy News.
That’s when Hercules lunged at Peter and sunk his teeth into his neck.
“The pit bull jumped on my friend’s neck and he started bleeding. I was like ‘what the f–k’. He was latched onto the back of his neck,” she said.
Tya sprung into action and pried the pit bull off her friend and shoved him into the safety of the bathroom.
That’s when Hercules turned his aggression to Tya. “He must have smelled [Peter’s] blood all over me and started attacking me. I don’t remember a lot of it. I remember looking down and my flesh being torn off my arm,” Tya recounted.
“I don’t remember the feeling of it, I remember screaming ‘Hercules, it’s me’.”
The dog tore off two thirds of Tya’s right arm, ate her bicep and sunk its teeth into her leg and foot. She was screaming, ‘help me, I’m dying’ when her daughter Tana, 20, and her husband Harley, 21, arrived.
“[Tana] saw the dog was trying to kill me. She reached out her hand to me and I tried to grab it but I missed her by inches,” Tya said.
“It grabbed onto my leg and dragged me further away. Her husband walked in and he beat the dog off of me. I don’t remember that part. I don’t know if I was passing out.”
Tana and Harley arrived home just in time for Harley to wrestle the canine away from Tya and carry her outside where a police officer happened to be passing.
“I don’t know how many times he bit me. I think it went on for about five minutes. I thought I was going to die. I fought somehow to stay alive,” she said. “A good two-thirds of my arm was torn off. He ate my entire bicep.”
Lewisville Police Department Officer Jordan Potter jumped on the scene and immediately began life-saving measures.
“The police said if I’d passed out in the house, he would have eaten me from my insides,” Tya said. “They said they’d seen stabbings, gunshot wounds and they’ve never seen what they saw that day.”
“They put a tourniquet on my arm and the doctor said if he hadn’t been there to do that at that exact moment then I wouldn’t have made it until the ambulance got there.”
Tana and Harley had found Hercules abandoned at the side of the road, covered in cigarette burns two years earlier.
But Tya says that Hercules had never shown signs of aggression before and even slept in bed with her the night before the attack.
After Officer Potter tended to her wounds, Tya was rushed to the hospital where she was put on a ventilator for two days. She stayed in the hospital for a total of 19 days where she had hundreds of stitches across her arm, leg and foot and five operations to cut the dead skin away.
Tya also underwent a sixth operation where a muscle in her back was rolled up into the shape of a bicep and attached to her arm.
“My arm bends a couple of inches but it’s stiff. My hand is really swollen, my wrist doesn’t move, there’s 15 inches of nerves damage, my nerves and tendons were crushed,” Tya said.
“For each inch that was damaged, it takes a month to come back. My wrist hangs there, I don’t have much use of my hand. I had staples in my leg and under my foot. I’m in constant pain.”
She has set up a GoFundMe to cover her medical bills, which are currently calculated at $180,000 but are expected to increase.
“I need physical therapy. The discount program is $100 a week then there’s prescriptions. I don’t even know the total yet of the hospital bill yet.”
Tya and Tana surrendered Hercules to the police and he was put down. They have no idea what triggered the aggression but Tya has been left terrified of dogs.
“He was never aggressive before. I heard him bark one time when something made him jump,” Tya said. “I’ve no idea why this happened. He slept in bed with us. I don’t know what triggered him.”
She noted that Hercules was beginning to display “food aggression” and has begun to rethink things about him that were changing and showing possible signs of his aggression.
Pit bulls are often the source of debate, with some insisting that the dogs are lovable and suitable pets while others note sometimes deadly levels of aggression.
Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982, Time reported.
“I never had a problem with dogs but now I’m terrified of them,” Tya said. “I can’t go near dogs. If there’s one off a leash, I panic [like] I’m about to have an anxiety attack.”