DALLAS - A Dallas man mauled by a pack of loose dogs last month is back in intensive care.
Ronnie Bell was walking home on June 16 in Southwest Dallas when the dogs attacked. Their owner later surrendered them.
Bell had been improving, but he then needed emergency surgery. Doctors still believe they'll need to amputate his right arm in order for him to recover.
Bell had been doing better in a regular hospital room for about week. But over the weekend, he took a turn for the worse and had to have emergency surgery. He’s now back in ICU fighting for his life.
For Bell’s family, the decision was a tough one. But doctors told them amputating the arm gives them the better chance of saving his life than trying to save his arm.
“They just don’t think he will survive it,” said Dawn Foster, Bell’s sister-in-law. “He had over 100 stitches from his arm to his groin. And I saw original pictures when he came into the hospital and it just looked like his arm was shredded.”
Bell was mauled by at least three loose dogs in June as he was walking home from a convenience store on a Saturday night. He was just a block away from house that he shares with his mother.
“Ronnie was just walking by,” Foster said. “And the next thing you know these dogs are dragging him.”
Loose and dangerous dogs have been a plague on many Dallas neighborhoods, especially in southern sectors.
In 2016, Army veteran Antoinette Brown died after being attacked by a pack of dogs near Fair Park.
In April of this year, another woman was mauled by a pack of dogs in South Dallas, but survived.
Dallas Animal Services says the dogs that attacked Bell got out of their owner’s yard through an open gate. They were surrendered by their owner and euthanized. The owner was cited for failure to microchip, alter and vaccinate the dogs, but he is not facing charges for the attack itself.
Since then, the Dallas City Council has moved to strengthen its dangerous and aggressive dog ordinance. It gives animal control the power to charge the dog owners that bite, but it’s too late to be used in this case.
Bell’s family says the surgery to amputate his right arm will be done near the end of this month tentatively set for July 30 to give him time to regain strength.