INTERLACHEN, Fla — Newly released documents from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office show a 60-year-old man tried to surrender his dogs to Putnam County Animal Control “multiple times.”
These dogs, later, went on to kill a United States Postal Service worker.
Action News Jax, Meghan Moriarty, spoke with the former dog owner on Wednesday. He was very emotional. He explained that he “tried everything” to surrender these dogs. The 60-year-old said the animals were “dumped near his property a while back.”
A memorandum from the State Attorney’s Office outlines the multiple attempts made to contact animal control.
- September 15, 2020: Putnam County Animal Control was contacted by a citizen who was temporarily feeding the dogs for the dog owner. The citizen said they were unable to gain entry to the yard because “one of the dogs was too aggressive.” Putnam County Animal Control responded and distributed some food over the fence to feed them.
- February 4, 2022: the 60-year-old dog owner called Putnam County Animal Control and left a message that he needed to “surrender some dogs due to not being able to care for them any longer.” The staff of the animal control center were interviewed about this request, and stated the call was “never returned nor followed up on.”
- February 15, 2022: A 50-year-old man walking down Walker Drive was attacked by the dogs after they escaped their enclosure. The victim was taken to the hospital for his injuries. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office told the dog owner to quarantine his dogs and that Putnam County Animal Control would contact him. Animal control denies being contacted. A police report from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office details a conversation between a responding deputy and an animal control employee.
- August 10, 2022: A citizen called the police as she was driving down Walker Drive. She said her vehicle was attacked by the 60-year-old’s dogs. No one was hurt, but the vehicle was damaged. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office responded and referred the matter to animal control.
- August 11, 2022: Putnam County Animal Control confirmed the dog owner took measures to fix his fence. The dog owner made a second attempt to surrender the dogs to Putnam County Animal Control. His request was declined. The dogs were not classified as dangerous under Florida law by Putnam County Animal Control.
- August 21, 2022: Pamela Rock was attacked by the five dogs belonging to the 60-year-old man. Rock broke down on the side of Walker Drive. She was delivering mail for USPS.
Her injuries described in a police report from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reveal her legs were torn apart. She had several lacerations along her left eye, and her body was covered in dirt, which made it hard to make out the extent of her injuries. She was transported but went into “trauma arrest” status. Once stable, she was life-flighted to Shands in Gainesville. She later died.
The State Attorney’s report said the dog owner tried to restrain his dogs by punching and pulling them off the victim. His neighbor even fired three gunshots in an attempt to scare the dogs off.
[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]
We asked the animal control staff for comment. We were referred to the county administrator’s office, but have not heard back.
The dog owner said all five dogs have since been euthanized.