Why Did My Dog Try to Eat Me Unprovoked?
Tya Lucas, 40-years old, suffered life-threatening injuries in a domestic pit bull attack.
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Lewisville, TX - On May 16, Tya Lucas, 40-years old, was viciously attacked by her daughter's large pit bull. The dog destroyed her dominant arm. Medical professionals told her she was lucky to be alive. While hospitalized, Lucas began sharing her story on TikTok. That proved to be too controversial (no surprise). In short order, TikTok silenced her voice. Lucas is now back online, hoping to share how she is recovering. We will take readers through several of her key videos.
Released from Hospital
The dog first attacked her boyfriend. Lucas ran outside to see if her daughter and her son-in-law were there -- they were not. So, she knew she had to help him by herself. "The dog was attached to the back of his neck," she said. He had to get about 18 staples. She put him into the bathroom for his safety. Then the XL pit bull started attacking her. Despite her screaming that she was dying, her boyfriend did not or could not try to help her. He's "not my boyfriend any longer," she said.
There was a history of interpersonal violence in the home. The dog had gotten between Lucas and her boyfriend fighting in the past. This time, however, the dog attacked the boyfriend then attacked Lucas, essentially eating one of her arms. An earlier video also describes the attack. "I was getting thrown all over the house. Watched the skin literally peel off my arm," Lucas said. When police arrived, the swat team was upstairs, "my dog was basically sitting in my bedroom eating my flesh."
Now we learn about the bloody bathroom door. During the attack, Lucas had been banging on the bathroom door, where her boyfriend was protected. She could not get inside the room. He did not open the door for her, or come outside to help. "It's kinda messed up," she said nearly in tears. Fortunately, her daughter's husband arrived and began "beating the dog off me, saving me, taking me outside. Last thing I said was, 'I love you,' and passed out from blood loss," she said.
"I saved somebody's life who never came out of the bathroom to help me," she said. "Also has barely been to the hospital to see me."
Elevated to National News
In June, a local publication, the Denton Record-Chronicle, reported her attack. Eight months earlier, Lucas' daughter, Tana Dollar, 20, her husband, Harley Dollar, 21, and their pit bull named Hercules, had moved into the apartment Lucas shared with her then boyfriend. The young couple had found the dog on the side of the road two years earlier covered in cigarette burns. "He was always happy-go-lucky," Harley Dollar said. "He never showed any signs of aggression."
She remembers yelling, “Hercules, it’s me!” but he still had his teeth sunk into her arm, thrashing his head and shredding her skin and muscles.
Panicking and trying to get away, she left blood splatter everywhere she went. She tried desperately to get into the bathroom where her boyfriend had fled. But she said the door wouldn’t budge, even though there was no lock, as if her boyfriend was braced against it.
Tana and Harley Dollar arrived home to find the carpets, walls and bathroom door all painted red with blood. They could make out a forensic trail of Lucas’ and the dog’s movements. - Denton Record-Chronicle, June 9, 2022
We learned of this attack in June while reading the Record-Chronicle piece, which linked to a study co-authored by Laura A. Reese, a pit bull advocate, who failed to disclose her conflicts of interest, "The authors have no conflict of interest in this project," states the study. Reese co-authored a policy paper in 2016, Pit Bulls, Perceptions, And Public Policy, loaded with pit bull propaganda, and wrote an editorial decrying breed bans after pit bulls killed a boy in Detroit.1
Days after the attack, a GoFundMe to help pay Lucas' medical costs was launched, labeling the animal an "XL dog." The photographs of Lucas' injuries on the GoFundMe are gruesome. By mid-June, her medical bills were roughly $180,000 after spending 19 days in the hospital. She also made a TikTok video. That was when her account got suspended due to graphic content. Despite news articles about her attack going national in July, Lucas' fund has yet to raise over $6,000.
Fortunately, Lucas also created a back-up TikTok account. On July 20, she shared about her recovery, including that some muscles in her arm "are firing," as in they are learning how to function again. But her hand still lacks functional use. Lucas stopped creating video updates for awhile because she started having suicidal thoughts. Then something happened. "Things started to get better," she said. "Maybe I could become an advocate for dog attacks?" She said.
"This is a really controversial issue," Lucas said. "There will be people that blame me for this. That is why I get death threats. Or, I'm ignorant and stupid because I had a pit bull. Well, it wasn't my dog. It was my daughter's. And the only way she was going to move in is if I let her bring that dog. So, if I want my kid, I've got to take her dog too." - Tya Lucas
In mid-August, Lucas provided another update (she explained that it took a few months to get her TikTok account back). One can see improvements in her dominant arm, though, her wrist still dangles. She is undergoing physical therapy twice weekly, and also went back to work as a server. How are you going to work with one arm, the staff asked her? She said, "Wait a minute. I have two arms. One just doesn't work the same as the other." Lucas said her job is working out just fine.
Her daughter and son-in-law have since returned to Tennessee. Her mother, who lives in Florida, is now staying with Lucas. "There are still certain things I can't do," she said. "Like sometimes I get stuck in my shirt. I can't get it over my head," she said. "Or, I can't put my own hair up. Or, I did my make up today," but I am still learning how to use that hand, she said. Now that her account is active again, she hopes to make more videos. Lucas asks that you follow her and like her videos.
XL Bully Designer Breeds
Hercules is yet another hulking "designer" pit bull breed -- known interchangeably as an XL pit bull or XL bully -- that has inflicted a horrific attack. Hercules falls into the same category as "Blade," the XL pit bull-type dog that killed Serenity Garnett in March; "Beast," the XL bully that killed 10-year old Jack Li last November; the 120-pound beast that killed 41-year old Amber LaBelle last September; and "Nikko," the 130-pound monster that killed 4-year old Mia DeRouen back in 2014.
To gain a better idea of how large Hercules was, review the nearly 40 images Tana Dollar, the dog's owner, attached to a Facebook post in May, where she said, "I will never own this dog again in my life. I let everyone face their own opinion, but me and my family do not need you saying that the bite marks do not add up so it’s fake, reporting our pages, name calling, and death threats because none of us knew that we would wake up and our lives would be changed forever."
Herein lies the problem with pit bull injuries. Pit bull-type dogs disproportionately inflict permanent disfiguring injuries, requiring multiple surgical interventions, including reconstructive surgeries and skin grafting. That a "family dog," an XL pit bull in this case, "ate her arm," consuming chunks of flesh, is a behavior that earlier generations of dog owners never would have tolerated. But pet pit bulls "consuming chunks of flesh" from household victims today has become "normalized."
That domestic violence existed in the household prior to the pit bull arriving, is significant as well -- we see this factor in fatal dog maulings at times. When there are perpetrators of violence and/or victims of violence in a household (actively or with a history of), and a pit bull is added to the home, a dog breed selectively bred for fighting, the results can be devastating. Lucas ditched her former boyfriend and Hercules was put down after the attack, hopefully ending this cycle.
06/30/22: Magnolia Woman Critically Injured After Dragged into Ditch and Mauled by Pit Bulls
03/24/22: Man Charged After Vicious Dog Attack Left Woman with Catastrophic Injuries