FLORENCE, Ky. - “I need help, please! ... It just attacked us – I don’t know what happened!"
Those were the desperate pleas of Kayla Lewis who had called 911 early Thursday morning to report that a dog she and her boyfriend were watching had attacked them inside their Florence apartment.
It was just after 5 a.m. when Ben Mauser reached his arm down to grab the pit bull/Labrador mix's leash so he could take it for a walk. That's when the dog snapped and attacked him, biting his forearm.
"Ben woke up to let the dog out and (the dog) freaked out,” Lewis explained to the dispatcher during the 15-minute call.
Mauser was then bitten several additional times on his hands, arms and ankle before being able to get away and make his way into the kitchen of the apartment at 970 Trellises Dr.
Lewis says she woke up during the commotion caused by the attack. She said she tried to help her boyfriend who was "bleeding bad," but the "90 pound" dog went after her, she told the dispatcher.
“Ben was screaming please stop, please stop ... I tried to get the dog off of him, (the dog) was clenched onto Ben's arm, and that’s when he attacked me," she said as the dog's barking in the background drowns out her voice.
"I was crying, 'please Ben, don't let this happen to me' ... so he came out of the bathroom and somehow ripped the dog's jaws off my arm."
When they arrived on scene, responding officers said they could hear the couple inside the home yelling for assistance. They had barricaded themselves in different parts of the apartment to protect themselves from the animal.
“The male advised the officers that he was in the kitchen and that the female was locked in a bedroom,” according to a press release from the Florence Police Department. “The dog, a pit bull/Labrador mix, was partially contained in a hallway by a baby gate.”
Officers used food to coax the dog into the hallway so they could secure it.
The victims went to St. Elizabeth Florence for treatment. Mauser was later moved to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he may have to undergo surgery.
So what caused the dog to attack? The dog belongs to Mauser's father and Lewis said the dog has never shown signs of aggression toward them in the past.
"I think he was scared. He was in an unfamiliar environment and it was dark, but they are going to be putting the dog down," Lewis said.
Boone County Animal Control took custody of the animal. They didn't say what will happen to the dog.
The Florence Police Department and Boone County Animal Control are continuing to investigate the incident.
Anyone with information should call the Florence Police Department at (859) 647-5420.
To see a list of reported dog bites in the Tri-State area, view our interactive list here .