Aug. 24 (UPI) — A 61-year-old letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service died in Florida earlier this week after being attacked by five dogs she encountered on her delivery route.
Pamela Jane Rock, of Melrose, died Monday — a day after the incident.
She was delivering mail Sunday in Interlachen Lakes Estates, a rural neighborhood in Putnam County, 65 miles south of Jacksonville, when her Jeep broke down on Walker Drive, family members told local station WTLV.
A neighbor heard screams and rushed over to help, and then fired several shots into the air to scare the animals away.
Others came too, including the dogs’ owner, and managed to eventually pull the canines off the helpless woman.
But it was already too late.
Deputies arrived to find the dogs behind a fence, and Rock on the ground, mortally wounded.
She was rushed to a local hospital, and then airlifted to a trauma center in Gainesville, where doctors amputated her arm in a failed attempt to save her life.
Animal control officials seized the dogs the same day and were planning to put them down.
There was no immediate indication whether the owner of the dogs would face any criminal charges.
Putnam County Sheriff Col. Joseph Wells said Tuesday that the dogs had escaped from a fenced enclosure, but that animal control officials had been called to the home at least twice in the past three years.
He then acknowledged the active investigation prevented him from saying much more.
The Postal Service issued a statement saying it was “deeply saddened” by Rock’s death.
“A postal family member lost her life in a dog bite attack … Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and her co-workers at this time.”
The dogs involved were said to be mixed-breed but officials offered no specifics.