A 65-year-old Florida man is believed to have been fatally mauled by a pack of stray dogs after his body was found Wednesday morning.
An investigation was launched after the dispatchers from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a report shortly before 8 a.m. about a man seen lying next to a road. The man was confirmed deceased by officers who responded to the scene.
The victim has been identified by local law enforcement as Donald Ray Allen, 65, from the Jackson County town of Bascom, just south of the Alabama border. Officers said it appears Allen was on a path called Kirkland Road when he was attacked.
Police did not elaborate on the injuries he sustained, but confirmed they are believed to have been caused by a pack of stray dogs roaming in the area.
“Upon completing a thorough investigation, it was determined that the subject had been walking in the roadway, when he suffered life threatening injuries from an animal attack,” the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Facebook.
According to the release, officers flagged the incident to the local animal control, which will be placing traps in the area in an attempt to snare the dogs responsible.
Police urged anyone with information about the pack of wild dogs prowling the area to contact the sheriff’s office at 850-482-9624 or animal control at 850-718-0021.
In Facebook comments under the sheriff’s department release, a user shared a link to a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign that was set up to help cover funeral costs.
The page said: “To say that we are shocked is an understatement and unfortunately, we are not prepared to pay for the funeral services and burial at this time.
“Donald ‘Ducky’ dedicated his life to being a loving husband, father, and grandfather. There was nothing that he wouldn’t do for his family.
“I am raising money to cover the cost of Donald’s… funeral and burial expenses. We are overwhelmed by the support shown so far and can’t thank you all enough for helping our family during this time.” It has raised $245 of a $2,500 target so far.
In July this year, DogsBite, a national victims’ group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, said it had recorded a total of 48 fatal dog attacks in the U.S. last year, which it claimed was the highest amount ever recorded in a single year.
“In 2019 canines killed 48 Americans, the highest annual count on record. Several other new records were also set in 2019: victims in the 30-49 age group outnumbered the 0-4 age group for the first time, multi-dog attacks comprised 63 percent of deaths and off-property attacks soared 75 percent above the 14-year average,” the group said.
The DogsBite statistics were first reported by Florida media outlet WJAX.