BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman in Hernando County is mauled by three pit bulls. The owner of the three dogs that attacked the woman is speaking out about the relationship he had with his animals.

He says he raised them since they were puppies and never showed any aggression.

Ralph Hughes owns the dogs and says they got along great with people. He even let his grandkids play with them. But Monday morning something changed when those dogs attacked an elderly neighbor and left behind a trail of blood.

“I’d been tore up all morning. I don’t know what to think,” says Hughes. The owner of these three pit bulls Dynamite, Lucky, and Aaliyah has them no more.

“I left them last night and I come back this morning and they call me,” says Hughes.

Hughes was gone for the night and didn’t know his dogs got out of his home, chewing through the back door. Hernando Sheriff’s deputies say those three dogs attacked an elderly neighbor as she took her morning walk down Church Road just off Spring Lake Highway.

“When they told me I couldn’t believe it, cause they were so good with people, you know? You think you know them, but you don’t, you know,” says Hughes.

The woman had to be airlifted to get treatment on the severe dog bites to both her legs. When deputies and animal control showed up to round the dogs up, they attacked again forcing officers to shoot bean bags at the animals.

“Kill ’em! Right on the spot, man. I already signed the papers. I’d like to know about my neighbor. How is she,” asks Hughes.

As Hughes deals with the grief of putting his dogs down he also worries about the neighbor he often waved to as she walked past his house.

“I’m so sorry. If I could change it I would. I’m sorry,” he says.

The woman attacked is in the hospital recovering and in stable condition.

As for Hughes this is the second time his dogs have escaped. He recently paid a fine for that firs escape. He says in time he may get more dogs, but they will be much smaller.

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