Tracey Van Houte thought she was going to die.
"I couldn't breathe. I said, 'Please help me, I'm going to die. I know they're going to kill me," she said in an interview from her hospital bed.
That might have been the outcome if not for her survival instinct, a fire extinguisher and a Good Samaritan who came out of nowhere.
The emergency call was dispatched just after 5 p.m. Tuesday: "EMS going to Thorn Street for a 20-year-old bitten by a dog."
"They grabbed my feet, pulled them out from under me and started dragging me down the driveway," recalled Van Houte. She is covered in dozens of puncture wounds, many of them requiring stitches.
Her leg and one arm were crushed between the jaws of THE ATTACKING DOGS.
"My right arm is crushed. They scalped me in the back and literally ripped the hair off my skull...I could feel it tearing," she said.
She remembers distinctly standing on the porch on Thorn Street with her friend, who lived there along with the dogs. She says her friend opened the door and the dogs came out.
Van Houte says she climbed onto the porch railing to avoid the dogs. It didn't work.
"I was hanging on to a corner post and I was screaming to help me, get them off me," she said. "They were just ripping at me - just sinking their teeth in and trying to pull me down."
She recalls that in the crowd that gathered nearby, a few people tried to help. One man stepped in with a fire extinguisher.
13WHAM News spoke to Ernest Casserly by phone. He said he noticed the commotion.
"ONE DOG WAS AN ABSOLUTE MONSTER," he said.
He grabbed the fire extinguisher and "blasted" the dogs. The tank only had about six bursts left. He kept working to keep the dogs back then used the empty tank to hit the most aggressive of the dogs.
"I clubbed him as hard as I could in the side of the jaw, and I made contact that would have knocked any human being unconscious," he said.
Casserly suffered a bite to the hand. He said another man tried to club the dog with a rod, and was also bitten.
During the time when Casserly was able to hold the dogs back, a woman also tried to help. Van Houte said she appeared from nowhere, just as the extinguisher was on empty.
"She picked me up off the ground and she said, 'Don't worry baby I'm not going to leave you, even if they attack me,'" Van Houte said.
The Good Samaritan got her to the back of a pickup truck and they drove off. Van Houte said the dog followed and continued to try to jump into the bed of the truck.
"The fact that I got away with a ripped-up hand and a lot of stitches, I feel blessed," said Casserly. "I feel fortunate." He said he was also relieved to know Tracey Van Houte survived the attack.
Rochester Police are investigating. They say one of the dogs was run over and suffered "life-threatening" injuries. They could not confirm whether the dog died. The second dog ran off.
Rochester Animal Services would not answer questions about the dog or their role, though a Rochester Animal Services van was at the location Wednesday morning.
Van Houte will need therapy to learn to use both arms and hands again. She says she wants to meet the woman who ran in to save her.
"She's an angel," she said. "I would be dead if it wasn't for her."