Why Did My Dog Try to Eat Me Unprovoked?
Tya Lucas, 40-years old, suffered life-threatening injuries in a domestic pit bull attack.
Watch Recent Video
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
What a truly horrific attack. And a good reminder that fatalities are just the tip of an enormous iceberg when it comes to the injuries caused by pit bulls.
This attack is truly horrific. It
wasn’t the dog’s fault. It was the fault of the idiots who created dogs like Hercules.
Why have people created dangerous dogs which have no place in today’s world?
I remember this story from 6 weeks ago. C and I both posted the link in comments and were disappointed when it vanished. We trust in Dogsbite’s judgment when it was removed. Here it has returned after being banned by social media.
Now Dogsbite has expertly woven together Tya’s riveting story. And Tya has moved forward to try again to podcast, this time w hopefully upcoming better front lighting and looking more refreshed after her terrible ordeal. She knows she has an important story to tell. Shock, courage, disappointment and courage yet again. Plus a resolve to help others understand the true nature of pitbulls. How pitbulls have a hair-trigger response to the complexity of human relationships.
And how domestic violence can trigger a pitbull, as Dogsbite has analyzed and reported on that relationship for 15 years.
Anything can trigger a pitbull. That’s the problem.
Yes ! They are deadly and should be ban everywhere.
tya is lying because I read in the news where she said it was her pitbull that she and her daughter found him abandoned In the street she recused him two years ago. She used to sleep with him and she claimed he “show no sign of aggression”. And her friend Peter came over and he launched Peter in his neck.and she took him of him and her daughter and her boyfriend came home saved her life because they beat the dog off her.
And the news is always 100% correct? Reporters are always carefully factual and never have their own agenda? Calling someone a liar is a pretty big insult. Perhaps it should be based on more than a news story.
Madeleine, if Tya were lying, Dogsbite would have determined that in short order. I wondered too about the ownership from what I remembered earlier but sometimes it is easier to summarize some points to focus on the more urgent details. I am guessing the ownership was passed back and forth. Rather than get bogged down sharing those details, Dogsbite focused on the critical points of Tya’s riveting story.
The amount of time, effort, and investigative and analytical skills Dogsbite uses to prepare expert blog articles provides invaluable guidance. I trust what Dogsbite determines. And I am really grateful when I realize how much effort readers would have to expend to get even part of the story on our own.
Sometimes I call one of our dogs, my dog, other times I refer to her as my daughter’s dog. The dog was brought home by my daughter but after a few days, I asked, so do we let the girl come over, take her, then bring her back because she just might take her, or do we say, let’s just admit we are keeping her. My daughter pays her vet bills but she is also gone a lot and the dog is with me. If I take her out or posting a picture,I am likely to say, my dogs enjoying the park. I am not lying, it is just the dog is sort of everyone’s because she lives here.
Actually I haven’t lied about anything. I just find it disgusting that you could even say something like that about me. Do you believe everything you read in the news? Have you ever heard of Clickbait? The things you hear aren’t always 100% correct. Maybe go read an actual book and get off the Internet because I can see that you clearly can’t handle the Internet.
All pit bulls should be ban!! Are you saying the victim is lying?? That is insane as puts kill many people every day or cause permanent injury!!
Lying is commonplace. When people have an agenda, they may intentionally print lies. Once the lies are printed, people think they are the truth. The truth is lost forever.
Just look at the garbage the pitbull lovers put out. The owner must have brutalized the dog to cause it to attack him/her.
That is very true about lies – some people will hear them, believe them, and never give up their belief in them. It’s not their fault, it’s just human nature: it’s easier to learn something than to unlearn it. Plus they may never even learn of the correction.
I don’t believe the claim that the dog was covered in cigarette burns – I don’t take that claim at face value, at any rate. It seems to me it could just as easily have been fleas or some other skin condition – that is much more likely. If they were cigarette burns they probably wouldn’t have been evenly spaced all over the body. And if they were cigarette burns, wouldn’t they have left scars? And how would a person hold an XL pitbull down to be able to burn it all over its body? Maybe it’s true, I don’t know, but it sounds fishy. And like it’s part of the “pitbulls are more abused than other dogs” narrative.
People including police officers do lie. Or maybe they don’t care about the truth. I do believe that pitbulls are the most abused breed because of the type of people attracted to them.
We are praying for you and have been.. You are a miracle and your voice can save lives ❤️
Because so many pitbull owners do lie when their dogs do violent acts, I can see why some might be suspicious of Tya’s story. But the results are the same, regardless of who actually owned the dog, and the results show that pitbulls are an unpredictable and dangerous breed. Regardless of who the actual owner was, the dog was living in the household with all 4 adults–normal dogs do not attack anyone, but especially don’t attack humans living in their household that they are accustomed to. This story is yet another of the hundreds of examples that pitbulls can never be trusted not to turn on people, even members of their own household.
Terrible story. The dog had been abused and escaped/abandoned by previous owners. People try to do the right thing by taking the dog in. The violence in the home can’t have helped as I imagine it reminded the dog of violence he experienced in his previous home. But that’s no excuse for mauling your owner. The boyfriend sounds awful. I guess he feared for his live when she was banging on the bathroom door to get shelter from the dog attack, but I still can’t imagine refusing to help someone you supposedly love even if you are badly injured yourself. Just goes to show that you are playing with fire when taking on a dog like this, especially with an unknown/suspected bad history. The best thing for everyone would have been if they had called animal control when they found the dog and for the dog to be euthanised, however sad that is for the dog. A couple of days ago my sibling called me to say that in their neighbourhood in western Europe, they encountered a male child (+- 12 years old) walking a Staffie. The kid gave too much leash and it was mere inches between the lunging dog and my sibling’s very young child. I told my sibling to avoid these dogs at all cost, especially when they are with their kids, and if possible, start filming (but that is not easy when trying to control two small kids). It’s otherwise a very nice neighborhood but someone let a preteen walk a strong, gamey dog. No way that this boy could have controlled the dog once it would lock its sight on a target, and it’s clear he’s negligent by not having the leash as short as possible to prevent the dog from lunging at little children.
So happy she survived! And that she’s decided to educate others. And that she’s ditched both murderous dog & cowardly boyfriend. And that her daughter sided with her – that’s what real family does.
Those crime scene photos should accompany each pit bull adoption.
I think Dogsbite is right: but for the no kill movement, this would not keep happening.
As for anyone questioning facts or speculating about lying, I have two comments:
1. Don’t kick someone when they’re already down. That’s what pit bulls do.
2. This family almost certainly has PTSD now, especially the victim. This can make people less coherent, because trauma changes the brain. More amygdala action, less prefrontal cortex reflection. Traumatized people are frequently disbelieved when they’re telling the truth or just confused.