South LA senior Jimmy Lindsey said he is lucky to be alive. The 83-year-old grandfather was mauled on Dec. 16 by his neighbor’s two pit bulls  and has been hospitalized since the attack undergoing numerous surgeries to repair the extensive damage to his legs and arms. Doctors cautioned that he could lose his right hand.

“They both pounded on me, chewing on me…dragging me back and forth,” Lindsey said from his hospital bed. “I thought my life was over.” 

Family members said the dogs got loose and charged Lindsey just steps from his front porch.

Lindsay said he lost consciousness during the attack. Another neighbor eventually freed him from the dogs, who ran off when rescue crews arrived about a half-hour after the attack.

“I was just reaching and feeling for anything while they were attacking me,” he said. “I could not pick up nothing but a Christmas ornament. I’d seen dog attacks before on TV, and when they attacked me, I knew I was in trouble.”

Lindsey’s family said the two mixed-breed dogs remain at the owner’s home. Lindsey’s daughter, Belynda, said the owner has refused to surrender the dogs to Los Angeles County Animal Control authorities.

“That the owner would say no, you’re ‘not taking my dogs,’ and ‘you better get a court order’ that to me says evil,” she said, adding that Animal Control informed the family that a hearing will be conducted.

“He’s a man who loves his family. That’s why it’s hard to see him struggle,” she said of her father.

Recovery could take a year, according to doctors. An account has been set up at https://gofund.me/478f62ad.

Doctors say Lindsey faces at least a half-dozen more surgeries as they try to save his hand. 

Lindsey is fearful that the dogs could attack someone else if they’re allowed to run free again. “They’re killers. They are horrendous types of animals. I wouldn’t want no one, but no one to go through the pain I’m going through day after day,” he said.

About 4.5 million people each year are bitten by dogs. Roughly 800,000 persons require medical attention, according to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is about a 1 in 73 chance of getting bitten by a dog.

Animal experts suggest that if an aggressive dog threatens you:

1) Remain calm and still. Do not run.

2) If you are on the ground, curl into a fetal position, cover your head with your arms and keep your fingers curled into a fist.

3) Avoid eye contact with the dog.

4) Do not smile at the dog.

5) Use a soft, soothing tone of voice.

6) If you are bitten, do not pull away. This only spurs the dog on. Try to put something between you and the dog such as a purse, jacket, backpack, etc.

Most often, a dog will bite out of fear, rather than aggression. Dogs that feel threatened, unsure or challenged will respond by biting as a self-defense mechanism. Dogs that haven’t been spayed or neutered may display aggressive behavior related to their sex drive.

Dogs are territorial creatures and will protect their “turf.” A surprised dog will bite. If you approach a dog unexpectedly or he/she doesn’t see you coming, the instinct might be to bite out of fear. Dogs that have not been properly behavior-trained and socialized are more likely to bite.

All dogs are capable of biting. There is no one breed or type of dog that’s more likely to bite than others. Biting has more to do with circumstances, behavior, training (or lack thereof), and sheer negligence on the part of the human who is responsible for them.

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