MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida woman who survived a vicious mauling by a stray dog in southwest Miami-Dade County spoke Thursday to Local 10 News about her experience.
Melinda Gielmurray spent five days in the hospital recovering from her injuries after the May 20 attack.
"It happened right here on the side of the house," Gielmurray told Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney, showing him where the attack occurred. "He just latched onto my leg (and) then he switched to my arm."
Bandages cover Gielmurray's stitched-up wounds.
"It felt like getting eaten alive," she said.
Gielmurray said the dog that attacked her was a large American pit bull terrier that she tried to rescue.
"The dog was just walking around and it went from regular playing mode to biting my leg, and then it switched from my leg to my arm. That's when my husband jumped on the dog and told me to run," Gielmurray said.
Gielmurray was rushed to the hospital while animal control officers captured the stray dog.
"I have severe dog trauma. I'm afraid of dogs now, and I've rescued a lot of animals," Gielmurray said. "It kind of breaks my heart that I have that kind of fear now."
Gielmurray said she still lives in fear because packs of stray dogs are a familiar sight in her rural neighborhood off Southwest 252nd Street and 217th Avenue.
A dog belonging to a farm worker in Homestead was mauled to death last month by three dogs on the farm's property, just a few miles from Gielmurray's home.
"Miami-Dade needs to step in and help the people out here," Gielmurray said. "It's dangerous."
Miami-Dade Animal Services said the dog removed from the woman's property was deemed to be aggressive and was euthanized.