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Dog credited with saving man during pit bull attack

A Pahrump man is recovering from a vicious dog attack early Tuesday afternoon.

Steve Benson, the founder of Pahrump’s Happy Acres Animal Sanctuary, endured the mauling for several minutes in a dog pen, as neighbors called 911, just before 4 p.m., authorities said.

He is listed in fair condition by an official at UMC Trauma.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office issued a news release detailing the attack at 4540 E. Martin Ave.

A sheriff’s office sergeant, driving home after his shift, was first on the scene.

“Upon the arrival of a plainclothes sergeant, he observed one of the dogs actively attacking a male with another dog attacking the aggressive dog,” the release stated. “The sergeant took immediate action by putting down the attacking dog.”

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue arrived at the location shortly thereafter and immediately began treating Benson.

Fire Chief Scott Lewis said the man’s injuries required a flight to Las Vegas.

“We were dispatched for a report of an animal attack and were placed into level-one staging,” Lewis said. “The sergeant shot one of the dogs, killing it, and ceased the attack. We then moved up where we found the injuries were consistent with a flight to UMC Trauma in Las Vegas. We brought Mercy Air 21 to the scene where patient care was transferred, and that patient was flown out. He sustained upper extremity injuries.”

Peggy Saunders, the president of Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS), has known Benson for roughly a year.

She provided additional details on the attack.

“It was a pit bull, which was the newest dog Steve took in,” Saunders said. “It somehow broke off his muzzle and attacked Steve. His arm was mauled and broken, and he also had damage to his arteries. Aside from his arm, I understand he is in pretty good shape.”

Saunders also credited another dog named “Ziggy,” who she said actually saved Benson’s life.

“Ziggy tried to take the other dog out,” she said. “The dog that attacked Steve was (killed) at the scene. The one that came to his defense is also a pit bull. We had him treated and he is expected to have a full and complete recovery. The neighbors said Ziggy actually saved Steve’s life. I’ve had a number of calls from people around the community who are worried about Steve.”

Nye County Animal Control officers arrived on the scene to retrieve the deceased animal while transporting the friendly dog to a veterinarian for medical treatment.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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