Dog attack victim glad to be alive

ALBANY – Most people would probably think two Golden Labrador mix canines with a total weight of around 190 pounds could easily overwhelm a young woman barely more than half their combined weight. Those people would be right.

“I definitely realized how much I wanted to live,” Marissa Christman said from her hospital bed at Albany Medical Center Wednesday afternoon, a little more than 48 hours after she was horrifically mauled in the parking lot of the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter in the Town of Root, Montgomery County.

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“I thought for a lot of moments. It felt like a lot longer than it was. It crossed my mind and I just kept saying, “This is not how I go, this is not it.”

Speaking to NewsChannel 13’s Dan Levy from her hospital bed at Albany Medical Center, and still in physical pain following emergency surgery for multiple injuries, the 26-year-old woman says she’s been working at the shelter for more than half of her life, and she’s well-trained to handle rambunctious, misbehaving animals.

She says if someone else less trained had been handling kennel duties on Monday morning, the result could have been much more serious.

The two dogs involved have since been quarantined off-site. Their ultimate fate has not yet been determined.

Christman hinted the dogs’ fate may be sealed, given the viciousness of the attack.

“Unfortunately they are dangerous,” she stated.

She also expects her convalescence to last a minimum of several months. She was quick to correct medical staff who suggested she had a bad day.

“I said, “No, I’m pretty sure I had a pretty good day,” she replied, “I’m alive! So I had a pretty damn good day.”

Marissa says she’s looking forward to returning to work at the shelter so that she can “be with my animals.”

As of Wednesday night, a GoFundMe Page had raised more than $26,000 for Marissa.