Brenda Hill lay on the frozen ground Sunday, defenseless against the two pit bulls that just moments before had begun their relentless assault.
Then they were gnawing on her legs.
She watched her blood pour into the grass. And then it occurred to her: She was on blood thinner.
"The first thing I thought was I was going to bleed to death," said Hill, a 68-year-old Northside grandmother. "I just called on the Lord. I said, 'Help me. Don't let me die.' "
Lying in her hospital bed, Hill spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday night about what a top animal control official is calling one of the worst dog attacks in Indianapolis in more than a decade.
Hill said she had slipped out her side door Sunday afternoon to put out the trash and saw the two pit bulls dart around her house.
Terrified of dogs ever since she was bitten as a child, she scurried to get back in her house. But the dogs were too fast. And too powerful.
They grabbed her shoes, pulling them off. Then they dragged her down the steps and along the alley, leaving behind a trail of blood.
"They just kept gnawing and gnawing and gnawing," she said. "I was saying, 'Please, somebody help me,' and I was calling on Jesus, and I started saying it real loud."
But in the quiet of a frozen Sunday afternoon, only the dogs seemed to hear her cries. One of them gave her a chilling glare.
"He looked like he wanted to kill me," she said. "He had that look on his face."
Finally, a neighborhood boy came upon the scene. Dejuan Stokes, 13, ran home for help. His aunt called 911 while his uncle, Johnnie Stokes, and his cousin's boyfriend, Steven Simpson, rushed to Hill's aid.
"The dogs were dragging her toward the front of the house," said Simpson, 25. "And there was a lot of blood under where she was."
Also, about that time, the dogs' owner, Hill's neighbor Lee Carroll, came outside and called the dogs back into his yard. He said two teenagers had alerted him that his dogs were attacking someone.
When emergency responders arrived, they could barely detect a pulse in Hill's legs, according to the police report.
She was rushed to Wishard Memorial Hospital, where she underwent successful emergency surgery to save her legs.
Forty-eight hours after her ordeal, the alley was still covered in blood.
Indianapolis Animal Care and Control Lt. Jerry Bippus said the attack in the 4300 block of North Guilford Avenue was one of the worst he'd seen in 14 years as operations manager of the agency.
The dogs -- Max and Period -- are being held at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control to be used as evidence in court. Bippus said the dogs are a breeding male and female about 3 or 4 years old.
Bippus believes the dogs broke through holes in Carroll's chain-link fence.
Carroll said his dogs are usually confined in his yard. He thinks teenagers might have provoked them.
Animal control officials are investigating allegations that one or both of the dogs bit Stokes' 20-year-old niece two or three weeks ago.
Police visited Carroll's home twice in the past five years on reports of a dog not properly cared for; and in June 2007, they seized a female pit bull after finding it standing in its own excrement.
Bippus said animal control officials also visited the home in December on reports of dogs running loose, but the animals were confined when they arrived.
Carroll was cited Sunday for being responsible in the attack, having his animals at large and failing to properly vaccinate or tag them. He will have to post a bond of $150 per month per dog while a court decides their fate.
He also could face criminal charges for dog- bite liability and harboring a non-immunized dog, said Animal Care and Control Sgt. Tracy Hutchens.Brenda Hill lay on the frozen ground Sunday, defenseless against the two pit bulls that just moments before had begun their relentless assault.