More than 5,400 postal employees were attacked by dogs in the United States in 2021.
A 61-year-old postal carrier's life came to an tragic end after she was mauled by five dogs. The incident took place in rural Florida. The postal worker, identified as Pamela Jane Rock of Melrose, was in the Interlachen Lake Estates area on August 21, 2022, after her vehicle broke down, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, per CNN.
The woman died at a hospital on the night of August 22, 2022, Putnam County Sheriff's Col. Joseph Wells said at a news conference on August 23, according to CBS News.
Residents in the area heard the woman's cries for help. When they went out to see, they found Rock on the ground, being attacked by five dogs. Several people, including the dog's owner, rushed to help to get the dogs off the woman, witnesses told the Sheriff's office.
"One of the neighbors even brought his firearm along and fired several shots into the air and to the ground in an attempt to disrupt the attack," Sheriff Wells said during the news conference.
The trick didn't work and they had to physically remove the dogs from Rock. By the time deputies arrived, the dogs were back inside their property, so they immediately started administering first aid to Rock who was bleeding profusely. They applied tourniquets until a rescue unit arrived and took the woman to a hospital, officials said. The woman was then flown to a trauma center in Gainesville.
A 61-year-old postal carrier died after being attacked by five dogs in rural northern Florida after her vehicle broke down over the weekend, sheriff's officials say. https://t.co/DrwFmZlSsE— CNN (@CNN) August 24, 2022
Unfortunately, she succumbed to her injuries. Wells said the investigation into the incident is "very active."
"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," he said. An initial investigation revealed that the dogs were able to get out of their fenced yard after they moved the rocks lining the fence, said Wells.
After the attack, animal control was called, and they took the five dogs into custody after the owner relinquished custody of them. They will be euthanized humanely, added Wells.
He then said that the sheriff's office and animal control have responded to the neighborhood several times previously for animal calls, but he cannot confirm if the calls were made regarding the same dogs.
"We have talked to those witnesses and we are working to confirm that these dogs are one and the same," Wells said. "We believe that there have been other calls for service regarding these dogs and we are reviewing these calls right now."
Oh my God, dogs are not supposed to be roaming around unsupervised The owner should be held accountable or we’re they just stray dogs! Where were the dog catchers if this is the case? Horrible!!!— anne (@anne54741976) August 24, 2022
However, these very same dogs were said to be a nuisance for neighbors and were known to hop the fence or come out from underneath it.
"Our hearts are with the victim and her family as they navigate through this tragic event," Putnam County Sheriff H.D. DeLoach said. "It is imperative that dog owners take responsibility in keeping their animals in a secured location for their safety and those around."
What's worse is that this is not a one-off incident. More than 5,400 postal employees were attacked by dogs in the United States in 2021, according to data released by the US Postal Service in June 2022. Florida was in of the top 10 states for dog bites, with 201 incidents reported in 2021 alone, according to USPS.
To minimize or avoid such situations, the USPS advises keeping dogs inside the home, behind a fence, far from the door, or on a leash postal workers deliver mail. Additionally, because dogs could see the mail carrier as a danger, the postal office advises against children taking mail straight from the mail carrier.
While postal workers are more vulnerable to dog attacks, everyone is vulnerable: taking a walk, leash-walking your own dog, hiking, even shopping. I carry a knife while walking my dog in HOA neighborhood. Others carry long walking sticks. Who needs 5 dogs? What a sad situation.— Sandra Barr - Nonfiction Lover (@sjrose99) August 24, 2022
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Ejla