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A mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service was fatally mauled by five dogs after her truck broke down on a road in north Florida, according to officials.
According to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the deceased, Pamela Jane Rock of Melrose, was mauled by dogs after her vehicle broke down. The incident occurred in the Interlachen Lake Estates area on August 21. According to Col. Joseph Wells, chief deputy of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, residents, including the dogs’ owner and numerous neighbors, heard the woman’s cries and raced to help.
“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. That was unsuccessful, and it was the neighbors and the owner that were able to physically remove the dogs from the victim,” Wells said during a press conference on August 23.
When deputies came, the owner had already locked the dogs back on their property, while Rock was still bleeding badly in the street. Deputies administered first aid to the woman and used three tourniquets to stop her bleeding until an ambulance came. Rock went into cardiac arrest while being transferred to the nearby Putnam Community Medical Center in Palatka, but rescuers were able to resuscitate her. According to Wells, she was eventually taken to UF Health Shands Trauma Center in Gainesville, where she died the evening of August 22.
Wells said, “As we drove her, Pamela Rocks went into cardiac arrest and she died from her injuries the next day.” Rock, according to the postal worker’s niece, had to have one of her arms amputated.
Animal control officers were called to the scene and took the five canines involved in the incident into custody. The dogs, who have been identified as mixed breeds, will be euthanized at a later date. Meanwhile, the US Postal Service expressed sympathy for the tragic death of their employee.
The owner of the dogs was not identified by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
“The investigation is very active at this point. 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. Because it’s a death investigation, it does now fall to the state attorney’s office homicide investigative unit as we explore possible criminal charges,” Wells added, without specifying what those charges could be.