"Before we could do anything, they ran toward us. I tried to scoop her up, but they were on her before I could even get her off the ground."
A Roswell man is describing the horrific moments when two pit bulls attacked the dog he considered "a second child."
Michael Stewart said he and Ellie, his 5-year-old Bichon Frise, were headed to East Roswell Park around 6:30 a.m. Saturday when two dogs stopped them in their tracks at the corner of Eves Road and Autumn Ridge Trail.
"Before we could do anything, they ran toward us," Stewart said. "I tried to scoop her up, but they were on her before I could even get her off the ground."
Stewart said there was nothing he could do to stop the attack.
"I tried to hold on to her and got down to the ground with the dogs and I started screaming and screaming for someone to help me," Stewart said. "My main concern was trying to prevent her from getting ripped apart."
Stewart suffered several cuts; Ellie had even worse injuries.
"It was just horrible because my dog was crying and she didn’t know what was going on and there was nothing I could do for her," Stewart said. "I just held her like a football and kept trying to break the dogs’ grip or get them to back off and nothing worked."
Ellie passed away before she made it to an animal hospital.
Stewart was treated for his injuries at North Fulton Hospital.
"I would have lost an arm if it meant saving Ellie, because I at least understood what was happening," Stewart said. "Ellie went from one minute being very happy that we were walking back home and she was going to have her breakfast to being attacked. She didn’t understand that. I would gladly have lost an arm if Ellie had been spared."
Police were able to take control of both pit bulls and turn them over to Fulton County Animal Control. They'll be quarantined for 10 days to see if they have rabies.
Roswell Police said that Fulton Animal Control has taken over the case. The owners have still not been identified. A microchip in one of the dogs was inactive, while the other came back with an Atlanta address, but officials aren't sure if it's current.
"I think that they need to come forward," Stewart said. "They were quite obviously pets. If you have those types of animals, you have a higher duty to take care."
Stewart received an urn with Ellie's ashes on Monday.
"She was always the perfect companion," Stewart said. "She didn’t deserve this. I’d always tried to keep her from suffering and pain."
© 2017 WXIA-TV