LOS ANGELES – A caught-on-video attack by two dogs on Catalina Island in California this week left a man in the hospital and his Jack Russell terrier seriously injured.
Two dogs attacked a smaller dog and the animal’s owner when he tried to intervene, a dispatcher with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Avalon station told KTLA. The dispatcher described the larger dogs as pit bulls.
The incident occurred Tuesday on the Avalon Pier. The adult male victim was airlifted to a hospital for treatment, the dispatcher said.
On Friday, that victim, John Brady, 52, of Huntington Beach, spoke to KTLA from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, showing the deep wounds for which he’d been in surgery. His dog, a 6-year-old Jack Russell terrier rescue named Josh, also underwent surgery.
"All I did is lift my dog off the ground and I was being chewed on instantly," he recalled, his voice quavering. "I knew I was going to die. I was screaming for help, and everybody was just watching ... until the last second."
Brady, a fisherman, said at one point he pulled out a pocket knife and began stabbing the dogs.
"It was so scary," he recalled, tearing up. "I was just face to the ground, and just being chewed on by ... I couldn't even call them dogs."
Brady received skin grafts on both legs, describing one leg as being nearly “chewed off.” He’ll need several more surgeries, he said.
"My dog, thank God that he's alive," Brady said. "He's my best friend in the world."
A disturbing 46-second video captured by a witness and posted to Facebook showed several people standing nearby as a bloodied Brady fought the dogs to get Josh away from them. The two attacking dogs then began fighting each other. A woman -- apparently the larger dogs' owner -- sobbed and asked for help as she struggled to gain control of the animals, the video shows.
A man in a Harbor Patrol jacket eventually pulled one of the larger dogs away, grabbing its tail.
Warning: Video contains graphic images and language
John Brady's son Brooke Brady on Wednesday created a GoFundMe page for Josh that raised about $2,300 by Friday afternoon.
“My dad out of instinct tried protecting his dog,” Brady wrote on the page.
The family has hired an attorney, Ron Chini, who said negligence is at issue.
John Brady said one of his top motivations is to get dog owners to keep their pets on leash, as required by law in many jurisdictions, including Los Angeles County, where a leash of less than 6 feet is mandated in public spaces.
"Keep dogs on leashes," Brady said. "Even my little 6-pounder is on a leash."