FRESNO, Texas – A 71-year-old man was mauled to death by several stray pit bulls Monday in the Fresno area, Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan announced during Tuesday’s news conference.
The family identified the victim as Freddy Garcia.
The attack happened in the 4300 block of Mark Terrace Lane.
Fagan said Garcia was walking to a store when he was viciously attacked by seven pit bulls. He was flown to a hospital via Life Flight, where he was pronounced dead.
The sheriff’s office said all of the dogs have since been caught.
“I feel more at ease that at least these animals are not going to hurt no one else, and I hope this doesn’t happen anywhere else,” said Garcia’s brother, Jorge.
Joey Cartwright, who lives on the same street as the attack, said he found the dogs on his property Tuesday afternoon when he saw blood on two of them.
Cartwright said the dogs are strays. He said, frequently, that dogs wander through the backstreet into his yard looking for food.
“You drive around the back streets there will be 20 loose dogs,” he said.
It’s not clear what will happen to the dogs. But Rene Vasquez, the animal services director, said when they capture dogs that bite, they keep them in quarantine for 10 days, check for rabies, then release them back to the family.
“This is not normal,” Vasquez told KPRC2′s Rilwan Balogun.
Vasquez wouldn’t say if the dogs would be euthanized, but did say that Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton will determine what happens next.
Middleton said that pet owners need to be responsible for their dogs and ensure they are taking safety measures to keep them from attacking other people, especially if they know their pet is dangerous. Middleton said if the dogs are associated with an owner, the owner will be held accountable. Due to Lillian’s Law (HB 1355), the owner could be charged with a second-degree felony, which could result in a sentence of two to 20 years in prison.
Middleton also asked residents to report stray dogs wandering so they can be captured by officials.
Fort Bend County Animal Services Director Rene Vasquez said this is only a reminder to be a responsible pet owner. He said if you know your pet bites, take precautions when they could possibly be around others and keep them on a leash.