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Minneapolis mom recounts vicious dog attack: "I fought for my kids"

Minneapolis mother home from hospital after vicious dog attack
Minneapolis mother home from hospital after vicious dog attack 02:19

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis mother put her life on the line to protect her kids during a vicious dog attack.

Angel Rivers and her two sons, Marcal, 8, and Kani Jr, 3, are still wearing the bandages and scars from the brutal bites.

"My injuries were life-threatening and they didn't know what the outcome was going to be, but sometimes your body has more strength than what you know because I fought for my kids," Rivers said.

Last month, the boys were on their trampoline in north Minneapolis when she says a pit bull from next door jumped on with them. A second pit bull was circling, barking.

"They just came out of nowhere," Marcal said.

Angel Rivers and her two children, Marcal and Kani Jr WCCO

Rivers says motherly instinct took over.

"I just was like, 'Oh no, my babies are in trouble.'" she said. "I knew I'm going to have to fight, and I'm going to have to fight really hard."

The dogs shredded both her arms down to the bone and mangled her foot. She's had several surgeries and had to learn how to walk again.

Marcal escaped with some bites on his leg and called for help.

"He did a good job," Rivers said. "I'm so proud of him."

Kani had part of his face torn open.

"I just like hovered over [Kani] because I'm just like, 'Well, if something happens to me, I'll fall forward on him and he'll be OK,'" Rivers said.

Finally, relief came in the form of a good Samaritan neighbor.

"There was a board there, I picked that up and was swinging it at the dogs trying to get them off of her," Ron Swengel, their neighbor, told WCCO last month.

"We really live in an area that people look out for other people," Rivers said. "[Ron] put himself on the line essentially too."

Rivers says it could be a year before she fully heals.

"I can't pick up things, so I can't pick up my little baby," she said.

The dogs were euthanized. Rivers hasn't spoken to their owner.

She's started an online fundraiser to help with medical bills.

Rivers says she feels "very God does have his arms around all of us."

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