TACOMA, Wash. - A 67-year-old woman suffered severe injuries after being attacked by
two dogs in a parking lot Friday afternoon.
Donna Berto and a friend had just arrived at the North Point Smoke Shop on 29th Street NE.
Berto says she wanted a Coke, so as her friend entered to shop, she was getting out of the car
when two dogs ran towards her.
"All of a sudden I looked up, and these dogs were running at me, and they pounced on me, and
dug me to the ground," Berto said.
Berto says she has no idea what provoked them. Witnesses report seeing the two dogs being
shooed away from the bar next door prior to the attack.
"Everything happened so quickly, I don't know how long I was laying there, but it seemed like
a long time," Berto said. "I could feel it munching on me."
Parking lot surveillance cameras captured images of the animals, and of the attack. Four people
from inside a nearby store ran out to try and help pull the dogs off Berto; one person also was bit.
The attack finally came to an end when a person grabbed a gun and starting firing to scare off the
dogs. After several gunshots, the dogs took off running.
"All I could think was, you know, was just trying to protect myself," Berto said. "And hoping
to God somebody was gonna pull one of these animals off of me before they just totally destroyed
me, you know."
Medics transported Berto to Tacoma General Hospital. She suffered severe wounds to her face,
back of the head, arms, and legs.
Berto's son Michael Stath wants the dogs found, and put down. He also wants the owners to be
"Whoever's got two pit bulls attacking people, something needs to happen to the owner too," Stath
told KOMO News.
Berto, who's stitched and bandaged across her body, knows it's going to be a tough recovery. "I
try not to think of what down the road, what I'm going to have to do, you know, next week and
the week after, you know," she said.
What Berto also believes is how she managed to survive in the first place. "I certainly know God
was with me on the ground there," she said. "He was helping me protect myself."
Puyallup Tribal Police told KOMO News they are looking for the dogs, and have interviewed
people in the neighborhood. While it is unclear whether the owners will face charges, the dogs would
have to be put down, John Wimer with Puyallup Tribal Police said.