ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – We recently reported how aggressive dogs are running rampant in some Abilene neighborhoods, now, we tell the story of one Abilene woman who feared for her life after getting mauled by four.
Dried blood stains the sheets, hospital gown and covers the hands of Jessica Luna less than 24-hours after the unimaginable occurred in an Abilene alleyway.
Luna told KTAB/KRBC she loves to walk, she walks everywhere. However, this day, it was no ordinary stroll. As Luna began walking down the alleyway behind Shelton Street in North Abilene, she turned to hear a charging dog.
Luna, with her heart racing, scrambled to find anything in her purse or on the ground to defend herself. Just as she looks up, one had multiplied to four.
Grabbing a stick, she began flailing her arms and swinging her makeshift weapon to keep the attacking dogs away from her vitals and neck, but it was not long before they had her under their control.
“I felt it go through my skin, and I was just in pain,” Luna said of being bitten over and over again, “I was screaming, ‘help me.’ I was screaming and yelling, but there wasn’t nobody out there.”
With not one bite, but 15 deep puncture wounds on her arms and legs, Luna described the pain as if knives continually were being driven into her skin.
Warning: Graphic content ahead includes blood and open wounds. Proceed with caution.
Then, the fear of losing everything overcame her; the thought of losing her family, her kids and even her life. That’s when an unsuspecting teenager heard her cries for help as he was taking out the trash.
It was 17-year-old José Morales, who lived on the corner. As he was heading to the dumpster, he told KTAB/KRBC he could hear pleas from Luna for anyone to come to her rescue.
“I didn’t want to go over there empty-handed, so I saw this long metal pole,” Morales detailed. “I started yelling at them to get off, and when they wouldn’t, then I started whacking them, telling them to get off until they would.”
Morales said he hit one dog so hard it passed out, causing the three others to back away until the owners could retrieve them and bring them into their yard.
The dog owners, fluent in Spanish but speaking very little English, came outside to hear the commotion. Luna, understanding but not speaking Spanish, and Morales, only speaking English, were trying to communicate as best as they could.
Morales helped sit Luna up, as Luna said to reach for the phone in her pocket to call 9-1-1. Luna could feel Morales shaking, only to imagine with both fear and adrenaline.
“I got her up, sat her down, called 911, the ambulance,” Morales explained. “I got them over here, and they took her from there.”
KTAB/KRBC asked Jessica Luna if she believed Morales’ heroics saved her life, to which she replied, “I would have died out there because I don’t think anybody else would have heard me, but I really do think he saved my life.”
Luna’s father, Frank, received a text reading “This is the police. Jessica was attacked by dogs.”
Not knowing the situation fully, Frank said he underestimated the severity of his daughter’s injuries, only to see what he called, “blood squirting from my daughter’s arm,” when he arrived at the hospital.
Now, back home and resting, Jessica is under the watchful eye of close friends, helping to doctor the wounds as best as they can. As well as a concerned father, who wants his daughter’s experience to bring light to a very dangerous situation.
“If it hadn’t been her, then it would have probably been somebody else,” Frank said. “It could have been an elderly person like your grandfather, your father… Or it could be your grandchild or your child.”
Frank said his daughter was tough, but believes had it been an elderly person or a young child, they may not have survived and wants to remind the public that these attacks are real, they’re life threatening. He said he hopes to bring more awareness to the forefront of everyone’s minds.
KTAB/KRBC also reached out to Abilene Police Department (APD) about the legal ramifications of a severe dog bite or attack. We met with Lindsey Hout, Supervisor of Animal Control, who said when an attack happens, the dogs will be taken and quarantined, as well as tested for rabies.
If a dog bite victim seeks compensation, Hout said any legal ramifications would be through the civil court and the Justice of the Peace for that county.
If you see an animal exhibiting aggressive behavior, or have other animal complaints, APD advises you to call the department’s non-emergency number, (325) 673-8331.