FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A South Florida man spoke to Local 10 News on Wednesday from his hospital bed at Broward Health Medical Center, days after he was attacked by three pit bulls.
Tony Elliott, 55, said once he saw those dogs come at him, he had to do whatever it took to stay alive.
He called himself a walking miracle and said he's thankful to be alive and for the doctors who performed surgery on him.
"Basically, (the dogs) took me down. From there on, I was fighting for my life," Elliot said.
Reeling from pain, Elliott said he was struggling to survive after the three pit bulls attacked him.
"Out of nowhere, these dogs come out," he said.
Elliot said he tried his best to fend them off.
"Kicking, stomping, trying to get them off," he said. "The big dog had me by the ankle and snatched me back down.
"Once they get a taste of blood, these dogs ain't going to stop."
Elliot said he was simply walking to meet with friends Saturday night along Northwest Fourth Court in Lauderhill when he was mauled.
The dogs' owners claim that they were cleaning out their crates and that the dogs escaped from a fenced-in yard.
Elliott said that's not so.
"Number one: the fence was wide open," he said.
Broward County Animal Control officials said this isn't the first time the dogs went on the attack.
Officials said in October, "the same three dogs were involved in severe bites to humans."
The owner was cited and just a month later, two of the three dogs bit "yet another resident causing injuries," officials said.
The county tried to hold a dangerous dog hearing, but said the victims never provided a statement in order for that to happen.
For Elliott, it's too late, as he lays recovering from severe puncture wounds to his legs and face.
Still, he said he is simply grateful to be alive.
"I have to give it all to God and these doctors," Elliot said.
Elliott has a long recovery ahead of him.
Meanwhile, the dogs were surrendered. They remain in quarantine, but will be put down, officials said.
A police investigation is underway and it's unclear whether criminal charges will be filed.