A U.S. Postal Service carrier in rural Florida was killed after being attacked by five dogs when her vehicle broke down, according to authorities.
In a news conference, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office announced that 61-year-old Pamela Jane Rock died in the hospital Monday a day after a vicious attack that saw several neighbors – and the animals’ owners – attempt to fend off the dogs.
“One neighbor brought his firearm along and fired several shots in the air in an attempt to disrupt the attack,” Putnam County Sheriff’s spokesman Joseph Wells said at the news conference. “That was unsuccessful.”
The attack occurred near Palatka, a small Florida city located 45 miles from Jacksonville.
When police arrived at the scene on Sunday, they found the dogs behind a fence and Rock bleeding, prompting officers to apply several tourniquets to address her blood loss. On the drive to the hospital, however, the woman went into cardiac arrest. She died from the injuries the next day.
A local statute states owners may be held liable if they held knowledge their dogs are dangerous but fail to exercise due caution, Wells said. But the dogs were behind a fence and escaped, and the owner cooperated with previous calls to animal control.
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“We believe there have been other calls for service regarding these dogs,” Wells said. The dogs will be seized and will be euthanized. No further information about the dogs, including size or breed, was released by police.
The United States Postal Service issued a statement: “We are deeply saddened at the loss of our employee. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and her co-workers at this time.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida mail carrier dies after five dogs attacked her near Palatka