Hope Leonard was just going for a stroll down quiet Rock Springs Road in the hills west of town, but the walk quickly turned traumatic.
The 17-year old woman said three dogs came running toward her from a neighbor’s house. She had been around the dogs several times before and wasn’t worried at first.
“All of the sudden, they started barking and grabbing my pants leg and tore a piece of that off,” Hope said.
Before she knew it, the dogs had her on the ground- biting her, gnawing at her arms and legs, and clawing her clothes off.
“All I remember is seeing fat coming out and everything [from my arms]; I knew I would have to go to the hospital if I escaped,” she said on Wednesday.
She eventually did escape after several minutes. A passerby stopped to help and took her back to her grandmother’s house.
“I heard her screaming and crying in the background- so I knew it was bad,” said Edie Leonard, who is Hope’s grandmother.
Hope was taken to the hospital and has since been released. She is now practically covered from her neck down in bandages.
“I thank God she is still with us. (Two), I am just in total awe of how much she went through and how she coped with it because I don’t think I could have at all,” Edie said.
On Wednesday evening, Hope’s grandmother looked over the clothes that were shredded by the dogs.
“This was the jacket she was had on. You can see it is torn completely and full of blood,” Edie said.
The owners of the three dogs were at the property where the attack happened on Wednesday night. They chose to remain anonymous and wouldn’t go on camera, but said they feel terrible about what happened to Hope.
The family said their house recently burned down, and pointed to the charred and gutted home behind them. They claim to have lost everything in the fire, and had to leave the dogs behind when they moved to a new place in town.
The dogs' owners say they were fined $2,000 for the dogs' attack, and will have to go to court in the coming weeks. They also said their animals will not be put down, if they have anything to do with it, and vowed to put a fight to keep their dogs.
Likewise, Hope says she does not want the animals to be euthanized. Thus far, there has been no directive issued by authorities to destroy the dogs.
The Boone County Sheriff's Department is handling the case. Phone calls by a reporter to the agency were not immediately returned Wednesday night.