A South Carolina woman died on Thursday night after her two dogs turned on her while she was playing with them in the front yard of her Greenville home.
Nancy Cherryl Burgess-Dismuke, 52, was wrestling with her two dogs, both described as boxer mixes, around 1 p.m. when they suddenly became violent and began "eating her," neighbor Amber Greer told Greenville News.
"It went from looking like they were really playing to them really eating her alive," she told the outlet.
Neighbors who heard Burgess-Dismuke "screaming bloody murder" called 911 and came running to her mobile home, where they found both of the dogs biting the roughly 80-pound woman's arms and dragging her body around.
"They were trying to kill her," Greer told WYFF. "One dog was on one arm eating it, and one was on the other arm eating it."
Two of Burgess-Dismuke's other neighbors, roommates Denzel Whiteside and William Long, grabbed an ax and a piece of wood and began beating the animals until they released the victim after a long struggle.
"She was already so far gone," Whiteside told Greenville News. "One arm was already bit completely off, the other arm was barely hanging on by a piece of meat. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life."
Paramedics rushed Burgess-Dismuke, who had already lost a large amount of blood, to Greenville Memorial Hospital. Although she was "alert" and "talking" when she was taken away, she later went into cardiac arrest at and died around 10 p.m. Thursday night, the Washington Post reports.
Both dogs were taken away by the Greenville County Animal Control and were euthanized on Friday afternoon.
Those who witnessed the gruesome attack and desperately tried to intervene say the incident will haunt them for a long time.
"To see a person's bones as the dogs attack, it really gets in your head," said neighbor William Long. "All I could do was try my best to save her."