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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Terrified and alone, a South Florida woman was attacked by two large stray German Shepherds while walking near her home in Miami-Dade County.
Cheryl Oswald said she was “scared to death” and “just didn’t want to die.”
The 61 year old, who is 4’1’’ and petite, says she walked out of her home down the road in East Redland to see why the neighbor’s dog had been barking all night. That’s when she came face to face with two strays.
“They started coming after me. I’m thinking, ‘I’m done,’” she said.
She showed on her hand where the dogs punctured her wrist.
“I’m thinking that’s not good. That’s not a good place, so I grab my arm and I started walking away. They started after me again. This time, they knocked me down, so I’m like, ‘Oh God, if I don’t get up, I’m done for,’” she said.
She said her screams scared them away.
She added, “911 got here. In the meantime, the dogs attacked a worker here.”
Oswald and her neighbors said stray dogs are a common sight in the area, because people abandon their pets in the rural parts of south Miami-Dade.
Oswald pleads, “Please don’t dump your animal. If you can’t take care of an animal don’t get an animal. It’s really sad what they go through and really what I had to go through with these dogs attacking me.”
It’s been more than a month since the attack and Oswald, a self-employed deli owner, is still recovering.
Now she wants answers.
“I think dogs that are that vicious should not be out in society,” Oswald said.
As it turns out, the dogs are back in society. They were first taken to the Miami-Dade Animal Services Shelter where they were quarantined and put up for adoption.
Oswald is furious.
“That just floored me. That flipped me out. I was flipping out. How could they do that?” she said.
Miami-Dade Animal Services told CBS4 it determines what happens to dogs that have been involved in attacks on a case by case basis.
“The dogs, again, for whatever reason showed aggression when they attacked the two people. But during their stay here with all the individual interacted with the dogs they didn’t show any aggression,” said Animal Services Enforcement Supervisor Sean Gallagher.
Gallagher told CBS4 one of the dogs went to a rescue group and the other was adopted, and both parties were made aware of the dogs history of aggression.
“It’s in the records and there is a waiver that they sign before they leave with the dogs,” Gallagher explained.
No matter the explanation and the precautions taken, Oswald, a self-proclaimed dog lover, said the policy should be reviewed.
“My concern is this: If they are doing that, how many dogs that are aggressive that they are putting back out there?” she said.
The Miami-Dade Animal Shelter told CBS4 in 2015 they received almost 12,000 service requests for stray dogs at large.
While the animal shelter said they were able to save the two German Shepherds in this case, they’ve euthanized 288 dogs because of their aggressive nature.