A Powerful Story of Humanity and Survival
Monica Garza recounts the violent pit bull attack along with her rescuer on The Doctors.
Houston, TX - On the last day of Canine Victims Awareness Week 2014, we share the story of a mother of two children who was brutally attacked by two pit bulls while jogging and rescued by a 63-year old man she did not know. Earlier this year, the two appeared on The Doctors TV show and shared their stories of survival and the magic and boldness of human triumph when faced with unbearable odds. These two courageous individuals from Texas will forever be in our hearts.
The Horrific Dog Attack
On March 5, 2014, 35-year old Monica Garza was viciously attacked by two loose pit bulls while jogging on the South Belt hike and bike trail in Southeast Houston. A retired couple heard an alarming sound behind their home. Sharon Jordan asked her husband to take a look and what he saw was horrific: Two pit bulls were clamped onto the jogger and playing tug-of-war with her body. Charles Jordan, 63-years old, ran to her aid and jumped on top of her covering her body.
The dogs did not want me. The dogs were fixated on her. - Charles Jordan
Two months later, Monica Garza shared her story of survival with KHOU in an emotional interview. "I think about my children," she said. "I don't want God to take me at this time, my children are young. She said the dogs, "ruined my life for a little while, but they are not going to ruin it forever." Monica spent 37 days in the hospital after the vicious attack. She had 350 staples and 54 lacerations and bite marks covering her body. By June she had undergone two skin grafts as well.
The Doctors TV Show
In September, The Doctors aired the story of Monica and Charles. The episode involves a re-enactment of that day, both recounting the terrifying attack, and the life saving actions of Charles. After the pit bulls finally ceased their relentless attack, Charles held her close and said, "Nothing bad else is going to happen to you today. I am going to make sure that you are okay from here on out." We hope that Charles is awarded a Carnegie Medal for his extraordinary heroic act.
"I consider Monica my hero. She is the most courageous person I have ever seen. She never quit fighting. She never gave up. We met, strangers. In one special moment in your life, you put your arm around somebody, and they lean on you. They touch your heart. And that moment is going to stay with me for the rest of my life." - Charles Jordan
Both cried while watching the re-enactment. Monica said she continues to have a lot of anxiety around dogs, especially the larger and aggressive types. She shows the doctors how her right leg is healing. The doctor explains her injury to the audience and future surgical procedures. When asked about his selfless act, Charles said, "There was really no thought process to it, no fear to it. When you see a woman in distress, you have to stop it." The audience roared with applause.
After the Violent Attack
Three weeks after the vicious attack, Monica's father, Jeff Mack, stood before Houston City Council nearly in tears. The police veteran shared the story of his daughter, and how her daily jog turned into a nightmare of horrific injuries inflicted by two loose pit bulls. At that time, Monica was still hospitalized. Mack was shell-shocked that the owner of one of the pit bulls was merely issued a class-C ticket. (Readers recall Harris County and their shabby history of felony charges?)1
"It's pit bulls. It's all you hear about. They were originally bred to be very aggressive. And yet I would say the dogs are responsible, and the owners are responsible. This is unreasonable that we cannot get some criminal charges filed in this case." - Jeff Mack
Mack is a retired Houston Police Department officer with 25-years of service. He has written to legislators and hopes to change the felony dog attack law in Texas -- which currently has One Bite codified into it (prior knowledge of vicious propensity) -- so that criminal charges can more easily be brought. Mack will file civil charges, which are also governed by the One Bite rule in Texas, but at least in civil court, they won't face the high standard of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt."
Suggested hashtags: #WontBackDown #CanineVictimsAwarenessWeek #VoicesoftheVictims
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03/30/15: Houston Man Honored for Rescuing Woman in Pit Bull Attack
07/01/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Pit Bull Attack in Southeast Houston
04/25/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: San Antonio Woman, 83, Dies After Pit Bull Attack
04/15/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Comal County Woman, 75, Dies After Pit Bull Attack
04/15/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Suspected in Death of Elderly Kaufman Woman
04/06/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Bullmastiff Kills Child, Seriously Injures Another in Killeen, Texas
02/19/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Texas Toddler Killed by Pit Bull Being 'Watched' by Her Family
08/29/13: East Texas Woman Severely Mauled by Pit Bull at 'Dog Friendly' Private RV Park
03/12/13: Report: Texas Dog Bite Fatalities, January 1, 2005 to February 17, 2013
11/22/11: Hero Stories: Honoring Those Who Risked Their Lives to Stop a Pit Bull Mauling
05/01/11: Texas Doctors Produce Study: Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs
Monica and Charles are both amazing people. Her injuries are horrific. Her leg was oozing.
I don't know how people can listen to the story and not get that pit bulls are not acceptable as pets. Normal, acceptable pet dogs don't do this. period. No kind of dog that will do this is acceptable as a pet.
Both of them are very brave for surviving what they did and for speaking up about it. It sounds as if they have each been gifted with a lifelong, wonderful friend in the process and I hope peace and full recovery are soon to come.
This scenario is one that worries me as a runner. Being caught out on a trail with nowhere to go and only seconds to decide how to try and save yourself, how frightening.
Lucy, I think part of the problem is that a lot of owners don't believe that THEIR loving wiggle butt could do this. Every time there is a story of a horrific attack or killing, you'll get some idiot posting, "My family has raised pits for years, and if you raise them right, they are the best dogs ever. It's all about bad owners creating bad dogs."
To make the problem worse, when a pit is not mauling and killing, they can be wonderful, loving family dogs. People continue to deny the legacy left to these dogs of years of being bred to attack and kill. All of these dogs should be treated like a bomb full of shrapnel that will go off at any moment. Until they do go off, however, the owners don't hear the ticking. They listen to the lies, drink the Kool-Aide, and put everyone around them in danger.
Colleen, thank you so much for this series of articles about the victims. You help to give them a voice, and it is so important that they be heard.