Elderly woman attacked by dog tells story from hospital bed

89-year-old woman attacked by dog for 15 minutes


ORLANDO, Fla. – The 89-year-old woman who was attacked by her neighbor's dog Thursday spoke to Local 6 from her hospital room.

"All I could see was foam and teeth, foam and teeth," said Betty Meitzler of Geneva, who was in her backyard near the 400 block of 1st Street when she was mauled by the dog.

"I started hitting at him and that made it worse, and I started yelling and that made it worse, so I stopped yelling," said Meitzler.

Meitzler said she tried fighting off the dog for 15 minutes before the dog's owner, Thomas Filiault, came to her rescue.

"He came over and he said, 'Oh Betty, I'm so sorry,'" she said.

Meitzler was rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center for severe bites to her neck, arms, and legs.


Filiault's pit bull/lab mix, "Kira," has been taken by Seminole County Animal Services, and it's not the first time. Last month, the county took the dog after it attacked Meitzler's daughter.

"She's got scars all over her arms and chest, from when he attacked her," said Meitzler. "She'll carry those for the rest of her life."

County records show the dog was returned to the Filiault's in April after they paid a $500 fine registering "Kira" as a "dangerous dog."

Meitzler said animal services should have put the dog down the first time it viciously attacked someone.

"With what's happened with me and my daughter, I think they missed the boat somewhere along the line," said Meitzler.

Meitzler's family has hired a lawyer and will be pursuing legal action against animal services and "Kira's" owners.

WKMG-TV reached out to the Filiault's, but they have not returned calls.