An off-duty Hartford firefighter used a metal bat to help fight off two pit bulls that were attacking a woman on Tuesday morning.
Firefighter Nicole Mercado said she woke up just before 5 a.m. when she heard screaming a few houses down from her residence on Flatbush Avenue.
"It sounded like she was getting murdered," Mercado told NBC Connecticut. "She was screeching so loud."
Mercado grabbed a metal baseball bat before running outside and finding a woman holding her puppy while in the fetal position, being attacked by two other dogs, the firefighter said.
"(The dogs) just kept gnawing at her," Mercado said. "Like they were eating her.”
Police said on Thursday that the attack dogs were pit bulls and they are being quarantined.
Despite hitting the pit bulls multiple times with her bat, Mercado said the dogs wouldn't stop. The dogs finally dispersed when another neighbor came out of their house and threw something at the animals, Mercado said.
“Usually we come on scenes and we see (what's happened) once we come on," Mercado said about being a firefighter responding to emergencies. "But to witness it being done and then have to –- I think that was horrific.”
Mercado said she tended to the victim, who was conscious but crying and covered in blood, until paramedics arrived. The victim appeared to have had several of her fingers bitten off, along with bites on her chin and foot, the firefighter told NBC Connecticut.
“She kept saying ‘mi perrito, mi perrito’," Mercado recalls the victim saying about her puppy. "Like ‘my dog, my dog’.”
The daughter of the victim said the woman was covering her two service dogs to keep them from getting hurt, but the dogs did not survive.
The woman who was injured was treated at the hospital and released the same day, but is back in the hospital to be treated for a leg injury, according to her daughter.
Police have the two pit bulls. They believe the dogs are someone's pets and they are looking for the owner or owners.
NBC Connecticut reached out to Hartford Animal Control and Hartford Police.