GEORGIA -- Even John Ketchersid says his neighbors tried to keep their dogs under control.
"They were doing their level best to keep those dogs inside the pen, in a safe are," he says. "They wanted to keep our neighborhood safe from any possible issues."
It didn't work.
Kethcersid's wife was mauled by the two dogs, nearly losing her life in the attacks.
The story begins on Sunday, April 19, along Westmont Avenue, in Fulton County, when an animal control officer was at the home of Ketchersid's neighbors.
They had put their two dogs on tethered chains, to keep them from running loose.
"They were told, by animal control, that they had to take the dogs off the chains," says Ketchersid. "She told them that if she took the dogs off the chains they were going to get out, because they can climb the eight foot fence like it's nothing."
So, he says, the dog’s owner decided that, if she could not keep the neighborhood protected, she would give the dogs over to animal control.
"The animal control officer told her that if she did that it would be animal abandonment and we'd charge you," says Ketchersid.
The neighbors made efforts to keep the dogs penned in, but it didn't matter. And just two days later, it had tragic consequences.
A fight had broken out in the dog’s pen between some of the puppies that were there. Ketchersid's wife heard the commotion and went to see what was going on. What she did not know is that both adult dogs were out.
"My sister was with her and she told my sister to go tell the neighbor," says Ketchersid. "She went to the house and heard my wife say 'Oh God.'
"When she turned around she saw the male dog was already on her (his wife)," says Ketchersid. "The make was attacking my wife and, as soon as she hit the ground, the female attacked."
Ketchersid says that, while the dog’s owner went to get a hose, his sister laid across his wife, protecting her from the dogs.
"She covered her and was hammer fisting the dogs," says Ketchersid. "That's what protected my wife's head and throat."
Ludmila Ketchersid was taken to Grady Hospital with severe injuries to the back of her head, her arms and, especially, her left leg.
"Her leg looked like it had gone through a spiral slicer, literally," he says.
She's at the hospital, about to undergo her third surgery since the attack. She still cannot walk but she is now able to stand.
As for the dogs, they are locked up by animal control, under observation for rabies.
Animal control says there are rules concerning the caging of animals, but they have not elaborated.
Ketchersid is at his wife's bedside at Grady, bringing her strawberry shakes and fighting back tears.
"She's Russian and she's tough," he says. "Me? Well, I just wish I had her strength."
(WSBRadio - April 28, 2015)