A woman and her 14-year-old son were hospitalized after being mauled by seven dogs Friday.

“A neighbor came to the rescue, or they might both be dead,” Lt. Jason Erickson of the Benton County Sheriff’s office said in a telephone interview with the Observer.

The department investigated the incident all weekend, according to Erickson, who also said that Sheriff Tom Croskrey took flowers to the victims at the hospital.

“A case needs to be sewed together to make a decision about charges. There’s a history at this house,” Erickson said about the dogs’ owner’s home.

The son was outside working in a shed, according to the Observer’s sources. The mother heard their own dogs barking and looked out and saw that seven dogs had crossed the Old Inland Empire Highway and were headed toward their property. 

The mother attempted to close the gate, but the dogs pushed their way through and attacked her. When the son tried to protect his mother, he was mauled as well.

A neighbor came and fought off the dogs with a shovel, the sources said.

The victims’ neighbor and friend Megan King told the Observer that the seven pit bulls killed another neighbor’s dog before going home.

“This attack will take a long time to heal both physically and mentally,” King said. “How can you feel safe on your own property and not worry every time you see or hear a dog?”