A man in Texas is in critical condition after he was mauled by two pit bulls while he was out for an early morning walk.

The man, who was not identified, was at the 4300 block of Queens Retreat Drive in Harris County when the dogs attacked him Thursday. The canines crossed the street to approach the man as he tried to back away. He was transported to a local hospital, authorities said, Houston Chronicle reported.

The incident happened in the front yard of Elmer Lavigne, a retired sheriff's deputy. Officers described the incident, which was caught on surveillance camera, as "horrific."

The former sheriff's deputy rushed to help the victim. Lavigne told local media outlets that he shot one of the dogs. Another deputy arrived at the scene and shot the other dog after it bit an animal control officer who was trying to detain the animals. Both canines are reportedly still alive.

"When I came out, the dogs turned around and went to attack us. I shot him through the shoulder and it didn’t even stop him," Lavigne said, according to Click 2 Houston.

Darrel Berryman, a neighbor, said: "I heard somebody saying, 'Help, help, help.' That's when I said, 'Something ain't right.'"

Berryman darted across the lawn as he heard the cries of a person.

"I ran over here and saw two pit bulls. The man couldn't move," he told the outlet. "They had him by his face... I told my granddaughter to call 911."

Officer Daniel Garza, of Precinct 4, described the attack as "pretty gruesome."

"He did lose quite a bit of blood. That was the main concern. I've been doing this a long time and this type of attack is not something you see on a normal basis," Garza said.

Deputies said the victim, likely in his 40s or 50s, suffered injuries to his upper body, lower body, face and neck. Paramedics had to give him two units of blood.

Zach Dunlap, a critical care manager for Cypress Creek EMS, said the team acted quickly and was able to bring the victim to the hospital at the right time.

"I've had a lot of dog bites and maulings, but this is up there with some of the worst I've ever seen," Dunlap added.

pit bull
Representational image of a pit bull dog. pixabay