A Rocky Point woman and her dog are recovering days after a trio of pit bulls attacked them during a family outing on a local beach.
Elena Tsaregorodtseva, 39, of Rocky Point, said Saturday that she was taking a walk Wednesday on the Hallock Landing Beach in Rocky Point with her 3-year-old boxer, Bella, and her two sons, ages 6 and 8.
Tsaregorodtseva, the community residence program director for youths ages 12-18 for the Pederson-Krag behavioral health center at Setauket, said she regularly visited the beach after work to relax.
On Wednesday night, she said her family outing took a turn for the worst when she spotted three unleashed pit bulls running toward her family. Her first instinct, she said, was to protect her sons.
“I said, ‘boys, stay back, don’t touch the dogs,’ ” she said.
The dogs began attacking and biting her and Bella, who was severely injured while Tsaregorodtseva called for help.
“They kept biting, biting. One of the dogs locked in on her chest,” she said. “I told the boys to stay back, they were screaming, crying.”
Tsaregorodtseva said a fisherman failed to pry the dogs off them. Firefighters, who were on the beach at the time, intervened and succeeded in pulling the three pit bulls off them.
“It felt like it lasted forever, my dog was crying, my kids were crying,” she said.
The boxer was taken to a vet for treatment. While she had a hand injury from a dog bite, Tsaregorodtseva said her dog’s bites to the stomach and legs became infected. Bella is now on painkillers and antibiotics.
Tsaregorodtseva said her family has spent close to $2,000 to treat the boxer, and friends have started a fundraising page to help pay for Bella’s medical care.
Brookhaven Animal Control is investigating the case, Suffolk County police said.
Tsaregorodtseva said she filed a dangerous dog report in a Patchogue court and was waiting to hear whether any action would be taken against the pit bulls or their owner. Tsaregorodtseva said she had posted a warning about the dogs on a Facebook page for Rocky Point parents.
Tsaregorodtseva said Bella remains in high spirits while she heals.
“It’s amazing how kind she still is,” she said. “She’s still very gentle with my children. I thought she was going to change. But she hasn’t.”