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A Survivor's Story: When Seconds During A Dog Attack Feel Like Forever

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WATERLOO, Iowa - Vivien Brookman only needed to roll up the legs in her jeans to show the damage.

More than 200 bites from an attack on August 27th on Waterloo's east side as she was outside of her adult daughter's home on Riehl Street.

Early on that Tuesday morning, Brookman, found herself too close to three dogs, the lead dog a pit bull with two smaller dogs.

"The big dog was standing in front of me and I thought, 'I'm in trouble'," said Brookman, 65. "This dog was skin and bones."

What followed were four minutes of terror. Absolute terror.

"(The larger dog) started growling and the two in the back just grabbed a hold of my legs," said Brookman. "Then I started screaming and he jumped up and grabbed my face and I thought he was going to pull my face off. I really did."

Retelling the story from the safety of her front porch, Brookman described the bites that covered her body, from her legs to her hips, arms and torso.

"It wasn't even four minutes and they did all this damage to me."

Boys in the neighborhood soon came to her aid before a Waterloo police officer pulled up and ended the situation.

"I said (to the officer), 'just shoot the damn thing, it tried to eat me, just shoot the damn thing'," said Brookman. "Then it started towards him and that's when he shot it."

Brookman said two of the three dogs in the attack are now dead and that animal control will put the other dog down this week.

Last Friday and a few blocks away, Iverson Holmes, 62, watched a pit bull run into his house on Chestnut Street and attack his two smaller dogs.

"He ran all around the house, breaking stuff," said Holmes. "He was about three years old, a heavy dog, about 90 pounds."

Holmes said, with seconds counting, he began to beat the dog with a living room table. After four whacks, Holmes said the pit bull finally left.

Now as the city of Waterloo looks into stricter regulations on pit bulls and their owners, both Brookman and Holmes say they blame the owners and not the breed.

Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark recognized the "passion" that people on both sides of this issue feel.

"There is a hue and cry for us to ban the breed, to ban pitbulls in Waterloo," said Clark. "So far, I don't think that's going to be our response."

Clark did talk about possible restrictions:
- Mandatory licensing, which is already required for all dogs in Waterloo.
- Pit bulls would have to be micro-chipped.
- Pit bulls would have to be spayed and neutered.
- Every pit bull owner would have to have handy access to complete vaccination records.

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