It's been a little over a month since Ronnie Bell nearly died after he was attacked by dogs in his southwest Dallas neighborhood. He only recently went home from the hospital.
The 56-year-old lost a lot of blood and nearly died in the hospital. Finally, the decision was made to amputate his right arm in order to save his life.
Bell was in and out of the hospital for weeks. He had a stroke and was in a coma for a time. But last Thursday doctors determined he had recovered enough to survive another surgery and removed his arm. He was well enough to go home on Monday.
"I'd like to thank everybody for their prayers and everyone that prayed for me,” he said.
Bell's mother says his wound is healing. He lost more than 50 pounds but is eating and sleeping well, though still having nightmares about the attack.
The attack happened on June 16 on Beckley View Avenue in southwest Dallas just blocks from the house he shares with his mother. Bell was walking home from a convenience store.
"Next thing I know he just lunged at me. Grabbed me by my arm. Pulled me down on the ground,” he recalled. “I had a pocket knife on me, and I started sticking the dog in the back of the head with that pocket knife, trying to get him off me. I looked at my arm and there was a big old piece of meat missing off of my arm. The dogs just ripping at my flesh. Trying to pull me on the ground."
Bell says a Dallas police officer who lives nearby was one of the first to reach him and applied pressure to his arm to stem the bleeding.
"I'm just thankful for the police officer that helped me and saved my life,” he said. “He's really my hero right now.”
Bell thinks four dogs in all attacked him. Dallas Animal Services says the dogs that attacked him got out of their owner's yard through an open gate. They were surrendered and euthanized. Their owner cited for failure to microchip, alter and vaccinate the dogs. But he is not facing charges for the attack.
"It makes me mad because when you have dogs like that, especially five of them, make sure your gate is locked,” said Lilli Burnett, Bell’s mom.
Since then, Dallas City Council has moved to strengthen its dangerous and aggressive dog ordinance and the power to go after owners whose dogs bite. However, it’s too late in Bell’s case.