ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - Two people are in the hospital recovering from a pit bull attack.

Rogers County Deputy Jerry Smittle responded to the scene and said the homeowners were stuck inside, screaming for help and asking deputies to put their pit bull down.

"Those people were held hostage by the animal who was on the front porch," Smittle said.

He said he wanted to avoid shooting the dog, but, in the end, he said he had no choice.

"I said we are going to try to avoid that at all possible, you know, it's not the animal’s fault," he said.

Each time the dog got close to the homeowners, Smittle said he pepper-sprayed the animal.

"The male had had both four arms laid open, almost a bite to the groin area and into the calf. The female had scratches all over her back and bites as well," he said.

At one point the dog ran into the woods, giving first responders a chance to get to the victims, but the dog wasn't gone for long.

Smittle said, "He chased them up the stairs, up to the trailer door and had them pinned.”

That's when Smittle opened fire, saying it took three shots before the dog let go of the homeowner's arm.

"He was a beautiful dog and I hated having to do it, but when he latched onto that man, I felt that there was no other deal but for his safety, and that of everyone else's, to do what I needed to do," he said.

Three people inside the home went to the hospital with severe dog bites.

Smittle said the homeowners told paramedics the dog had rabies.

"Knowing that the animal was rabid, and they weren't doing what needed to be done by having the dog its normal shots and regular maintenance, then all three of us are put in harm’s way," he said.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton said, "We kept somebody that owned a vicious dog from getting killed, maybe more than one person. He stepped into something that most people would've run away from."

We’re told the homeowners are still at the hospital.