Alabama woman killed by pack of dogs; owner charged with manslaughter

An employee of the Alabama Department of Public Health was killed by a pack of dogs in the northwestern part of the state last week as she was responding to a report about another attack involving the same dogs earlier in the week, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said Friday on Facebook.

Jacqueline Summer Beard was pronounced dead Friday by the Franklin County coroner after local residents called the police to report a suspicious vehicle, the sheriff’s office said. Officers found the car with Beard’s body inside it in a rural area outside Red Bay, near the Mississippi line, according to the Facebook post.

Beard is believed to have been trying to contact the dog’s owner — whom the sheriff’s office identified as Brandy Dowdy, 39 — when the dogs killed her, the sheriff’s office said.

AL.com, the website of several Alabama newspapers, reported that Beard was a 58-year-old environmental supervisor and a longtime employee of the Public Health Department. It reported that on Friday morning, she was following up on an incident earlier in the week in which the dogs attacked a woman who was walking. The woman remains hospitalized in Mississippi, AL.com reported.

When officers arrived at the scene, several dogs started attacking the residents, causing one of them to sustain minor injuries and some of the dogs to be euthanized immediately, the sheriff’s office said. Officers then found Beard’s body in the car, the sheriff’s office said.

Dowdy was charged with manslaughter and is being held without bail, public records show.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Public Health Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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