Five dogs mauled a mail carrier for the US Postal Service to death after her truck broke down along a road in north Florida.
Pamela Rock, 61, died from the injuries she suffered in the horrific hound attack as locals heard her frenzied screams and rushed to pull the gang of dogs off of her.
Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies found the mail woman on the ground when they arrived at the scene in Interlachen Lake Estates on Sunday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said.
The postal worker, from Melrose, died after her truck broke down in the street and the dogs escaped from their owner’s home.
Ms Rock would often bring children candy when delivering the mail, nearby residents said after the tragic mauling.
A nearby resident told deputies they heard the woman screaming for help and saw five dogs attacking her.
The dogs had escaped from a property by moving rocks at the bottom of a fence that had kept them secured, authorities said.
In the past three years, there had been four calls related to aggressive animals in the neighborhood.
The New York Times quoted a neighbor who said the dogs ‘jumped the fence all the time’ and had previously killed a Chihuahua.
Residents said the elderly man who owns the dogs, who was not named by the sheriff’s office, had been confronted about their behavior in the past, but he had not responded well.
When the attack happened, several neighbors tried shooting into the air to scare the dogs away, but the gunshots didn’t deter them.
Neighbors and the dogs owner’s had to physically pull the dogs off of her, deputies heard.
They started first aid on the woman, who was severely bleeding.
They applied tourniquets until a rescue unit arrived and took the woman to a hospital, officials said.
Rock was then flown to a trauma center in Gainesville. The county’s animal control unit took custody of the dogs, which will now be put down.
‘We are in frequent communications with the state attorney’s office as we explore options as far as possible criminal cases as this case continues,’ said Putnam County Sheriff Chief Deputy Colonel Joseph Wells at a news conference Tuesday, according to CNN.
He also revealed that animal control officers visited the dogs’ home at least twice in the last three years, having been called out to complaints about ‘vicious’ hounds.
Wells added: ‘We believe there have been other calls for service regarding these dogs.’
In 2012, two dogs in Stanton, California, attacked and killed 55-year-old Robert Rochester of New Castle died, another USPS worker.
More than 5,400 postal employees were attacked by dogs in the United States in 2021, according to the USPS.
Wells said the attack was still under investigation and that it was possible the owner would face charges.
In extreme circumstances, an owner can be charged with negligent homicide if their dog kills someone because of the owner’s failure to control the animal — though only one such case has been upheld in California, with most cases in Florida relating to personal injury claims.
Those convicted of involuntary manslaughter due to negligent homicide can receive up to 15 years in prison, 15 more years of probation, and fines up to $10,000.