• Owner of dogs that mauled elderly man to death served notice about dogs being deemed dangerous

    By: Lorena Inclan, Action News Jax


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It’s been 18 days since four dogs were removed from their home on Jessie Street after police say they mauled 83-year-old Michael Downing to death.

    Since then, DNA and other evidence were gathered from the scene and from the animals themselves to figure out exactly which dogs were involved.

    One dog is a Rottweiler, another is a German shepherd-chow mix and the other two are German shepherd-chow-Rottweiler mixes.

    James Crosby, an animal behavior expert and division management consultant at Animal Care and Protective Services, said he’s already interacted with the dogs but couldn’t share what he learned because it’s an ongoing investigation.

    “Evidence is in the hands of the animal forensics lab at the University of Florida. We're waiting for DNA and other testing to come back from that,” said Crosby.

    All four dogs are being housed at Animal Care and Protective Services on Forest Street. Their owner, Lephus Felton, has already been served a notice letting him know his dogs are in the process of being deemed dangerous.

    “His time of appeal is coming to a close. We are working with JSO and the state attorney's office. They will make the ultimate decision on what charges will be filed,” said Crosby.

    Felton has until Friday to appeal that decision. If he doesn’t, under Florida statute, dogs that are deemed dangerous will be humanely euthanized.

    Action News Jax reached out to Felton but he declined our request for comment.


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