- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Two young women mauled by a pack of dogs as they were taking an evening walk may not have survived if a motorist who noticed their ordeal had not driven into a remote field to rescue them, a northern Indiana sheriff said Friday.

The women, one of whom was critically wounded, were walking along a county road near the town of Cutler, about 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis, about 7:30 p.m. Thursday when four pit bulls from a nearby home chased them into a field and began attacking.

Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby said the women were fighting for their lives, kicking at the dogs as the animals came at them repeatedly, inflicting numerous bite wounds.

“This was described to me last night in essence as a feeding frenzy, and they were just doing everything they could to protect themselves from the dogs,” he said.

The dogs’ owner saw the attack and entered the field to try to restrain them, only to be attacked himself, the sheriff said.

But a woman who was driving along the county road noticed the women’s plight and drove into field to help - at which point Leazenby said the most severely wounded of the two friends shouted at the driver not to get out of her car, that it was too dangerous.

However, the dogs had momentarily scattered as the car entered the field, and Leazenby said that allowed the motorist to exit her car and help the bleeding women inside.

“I think that bought her a window of opportunity to actually get the girls and get them hurriedly into her vehicle,” he said. “Fortunately this individual had the mindset that she was going to save these girls and get them out of that situation.”

The motorist then called 911.

Rebekah Forgey, 20, of Kokomo was airlifted to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, where she remained in critical condition Friday afternoon, said hospital spokeswoman Jen Dial.

Her 19-year-old friend, Isabella George of Cutler, was taken to IU Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette, but had been released by Friday, as had the dog’s owner, the hospital said.

County deputies shot one of dogs dead in the field after the attack and the three others hours later after they had returned to their owner’s home, Leazenby said.

He said the owner had been cited repeatedly, most recently in June, for failing to contain his dogs in accordance with state law. Leazenby said he plans to ask the county prosecutor to charge the dogs’ owner “to the full extent of the law.”

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Information from: WLFI-TV, https://www.wlfi.com/

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