A woman was mauled to death by a pack of dogs at a home in Travis County on Wednesday, but their owner probably won’t face charges – despite residents saying they are ‘frightening’ and a nuisance.
Process server Erin McCleskey, 36, was attacked after she entered the front gate of the home of Donald and Terry Swanson to serve civil papers.
The Swansons have been out of town for more than a month, so her body was only found when a caretaker arrived to bring the dogs food and water, Statesman reported.
The death, which occurred on Fay Street in northwest Austin, is still under investigation but will most likely be ruled an accident, according to sheriff’s office spokesman Roger Wade.
‘If the homeowner’s not there and doesn’t sic the dogs on them, I don’t know what charges would be filed,’ he said. He added that the dogs were the property of Terry Swanson.
Six dogs – most of which were Labrador/Great Pyrenees mixes – have been impounded by Austin Animal Protection and placed in quarantine for rabies.
After ten days they will most likely be placed in the care of the city, which will then rule on whether they are dangerous and need to be destroyed.
But locals have said the animals are a ‘frightening’ menace that’s kept children off the streets.
Gonzalo Grimaldo, who owns a parking lot next to the Swansons’ property, told the Statesman that the dogs had got loose and attacked his dog months ago.
He said he called 911 after the ‘frightening’ attack but nobody responded to his report.
Another neighbor, Christi Sparks, said that roaming dogs have been a problem since she moved to the neighborhood in 2005 and that she won’t let her kids play outside in case they are attacked.
However, Austin city spokeswoman Patricia Fraga said that that there was no record of any animal complaints involving the property or the animals.
As well as the impounded dogs, there were 14 puppies living on the property.