San Antonio, TX - On August 28, 2008, Denise Rocha, 41, was walking her three poodles when two pit bulls burst through a nearby yard and attacked one of her dogs. When she reached down to pick up her dog, she was severely attacked as well. Denise was rushed to the Brooke Army Medical Center where she underwent 12 operations and spent 35 days hospitalized after the attack. One of her poodle's was killed at the scene and the other two fled home to safety.
DogsBite.org recently spoke with Denise. She said that the attack lasted for what seemed about 7 minutes. Neighbors had come out to help her yielding a baseball bat, pipe and machete. Nothing, however, would get the attacking dogs to stop. Two of the neighbors were also bitten in the attack. When EMS arrived, they could not exit their vehicle because of the dogs. Only after a police officer arrived and shot and killed the animal could they help her.
Hospitalization and Injury
Denise required 8-units of blood when she arrived at the Brooke Army Medical Center. Over the course of the next few weeks, she required 8 more. The injuries she suffered were concentrated on her arms, as well as the backs of her legs. She still does not have full use of her right arm. She told DogsBite.org that she is currently at home and "doing okay." So far, she does not believe nerve damage has occurred, and soon, she will start a physical therapy program.
Before the attack, Denise had applied for short-term and long-term disability and had been denied by her insurance carrier. She had taken to walking her dogs on a regular basis to increase her health so that she could reapply. On one of these walks, she was attacked. She currently has neither form of disability care. Her employer, Home Depot, has a fund that employees contribute to for such incidents. Denise applied and received this fund, a Homer Fund Grant, which will help pay her monthly cost of living bills.
Denise said she wants to thank the neighbors that helped her during the attack. She is grateful to the many prayers co-workers and strangers have offered too. She is specifically thankful to her co-workers for helping raise funds so that she could get through several months following the attack. She said she is also very grateful to her mother, who cares for her each day, and her brother, sister and partner who have remained positive throughout her recovery.
As her case moves forward -- hopefully Lillian's Law charges will be filed -- DogsBite.org will keep readers informed about Denise. Persons wishing to reach Denise can contact her at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
09/19/08: San Antonio Woman Severely Mauled by Two Pit Bulls