Owner faces manslaughter charge after Ala. Health Dept worker mauled to death by pack of 7 dogs

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An Alabama public health employee died on Friday after being attacked by a pack of seven dogs during an investigation of an incident that had occurred with the same dogs the week prior.

Brandy Lee Dowdy, the mauling mutts’ 39-year-old owner, was arrested and is being held at the Franklin County Jail on manslaughter charges AL.com reported.

The victim was Jacqueline Summer Beard, 58, an environmentalist supervisor with the health department where she had nearly 17 years under her belt. She had made the visit to the property as part of a routine follow-up to animal bites that might have the potential for human rabies exposure.

Beard was found after a report of a suspicious vehicle on the highway brought sheriffs to investigate and they found Beard dead at the scene. During the investigation, the pack of canines attacked nearby residents, injuring at least one person.

Ryan Easterling with the Alabama Department of Public Health provided a statement about the tragedy.

“The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) extends our deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and colleagues of Summer Beard, after her tragic passing,” Easterling said in a statement. “Summer was known to her coworkers as an exceptional person. She was a tremendous team worker and was loved by those who knew her.”

“It is a very sad day for ADPH, and we ask that everyone respect the privacy of the family during this most difficult time.”

The incident Beard was investigating involved a woman out walking and the dogs attacked her so ferociously that she remained hospitalized in Mississippi as of Saturday.

Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver noted that the hospitalized victim of the first attack, “was in pretty serious condition.”

The sheriff noted that several of the dogs were euthanized immediately.

“The safety of ADPH team members is paramount in day to day public health activities,” Easterling said. “Employees may, as part of their duties, carry out investigations or other visits individually.  Employees may request and receive assistance with law enforcement, as needed.”

While the incident was fresh in everyone’s mind, some used it as an opportunity to provide suggestions on how such a tragic incident might be prevented in the future.

Others were critical of the fact that the breed of dog was not part of the report.


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