An employee for the Alabama Department of Public Health was killed by a pack of dogs on Friday. According to local KKTV News, police were in the area responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle, which turned out to belong to Jacqueline Beard, the victim, whose body was discovered nearby. As police were investigating, they say the same pack of dogs attacked several nearby residents. Some dogs were euthanized immediately and the rest were captured and later euthanized. The dogs' owner, Brandy Dowdy, was charged with manslaughter. Per KKTV, “neighbors said [Dowdy] is a dog advocate and owned about 27 dogs.” No information on the dogs' breeds was released by police or media.
AL.com reports that Beard, who had been with the department for 17 years, was doing her job: following up a dog attack earlier in the week, one that left another woman hospitalized with serious injuries. Police say they believe Beard was attacked while attempting to contact the dogs’ owner. According to the Washington Post, police filed felony charges based on Alabama’s Emily’s Law of 2018, which gives prosecutors the authority to do so after an attack if a dog owner was aware the animal is a threat. The law is named for Emily Colvin, 24, who died after being attacked by five dogs near her home in 2017. (Read more dog mauling stories.)