A 6-year-old Lakeland girl is recovering at Tampa General Hospital following an attack by two pit bulls that left her with several severe wounds.
The victim, Alycia Battles, spoke to FOX 13 News from her hospital bed about what happened.
"I was playing outside," Alycia said, her voice barely audible. "I was walking in the street and then they saw me."
The dogs, which belong to a neighbor, jumped over a fence and raced straight toward the little girl, who never could have expected what would happen next.
"I thought they were going to be nice but then they went towards me and they started biting me," she said. "I was saying, 'mommy, mommy,' but she was in the shower."
Others, including her 14-year-old cousin, Carmeshia Jones, heard the screams and ran over to help.
Jones, along with other family members and neighbors, pulled the dogs off of Alycia. Those quick reactions might be why she's still alive.
"I'm proud of myself. At least I tried my best to help her. Even if I got bit, oh well, as long as I helped her out, as long as she was okay," Jones said as she started to cry. "I was like, 'you're not going to die, I'm right there with you.'"
Alycia was flown to TGH with severe bites to her stomach, arm and legs.
Polk County Animal seized the dogs, named "Boss" and "Promise," and placed them in quarantine. Authorities said the owner did not want to turn the animals over to deputies.
Investigators said both dogs had each been responsible for a previous in-home bite.
A judge is expected to determine within three weeks whether the dogs will be euthanized.
In the meantime, Alycia's family members are just looking forward to their loved one's recovery.
"At least she'll be happy to be home with us again," Jones said.
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