Investigators find no wrongdoing after postal worker dies in Putnam County dog attack

Pamela Rock was mauled by 5 dogs that got out of fenced-in yard in August 2022

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4JAX I-TEAM has learned new information regarding a dog attack that resulted in the death of a 61-year-old mail carrier in Putnam County in August of last year.

Pamela Rock was mauled by five dogs that got out of a fenced-in yard after the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said the postal worker’s mail truck had broken down on a dirt road. The I-TEAM has learned that federal and local investigations didn’t find wrongdoing by Rock’s employer or the dogs’ owner, respectively.

The State Attorney’s Office told the I-TEAM that it is not filing charges against the dog owner, while an OSHA investigation did not result in any safety violations. A memo from the State Attorney’s Office explains that the dogs’ owner tried to surrender them twice, including 10 days before the attack.

In all, the memo finds, there were at least four incidents involving the dogs in the months prior.

In February 2022, the memo says, the dog’s owner called Putnam County Animal Control and left a message saying he needed to surrender some dogs because he could no longer care for them. Animal Control staff told investigators no one ever returned his call or followed up with him.

Eleven days later, the memo says, the dogs escaped and attacked a 50-year-old man, who was taken to the hospital.

A deputy told the dog’s owner to quarantine the dogs and that Animal Control would contact him. However, Putnam County Animal Control claimed that they never received the police report and that they weren’t contacted.

On Aug. 10, a woman called police after she said one of the dogs escaped and attacked her car. The car was damaged, the State Attorney’s Office said, but no one was hurt.

Law enforcement referred the case to Animal Control, which confirmed the dog owner had taken measures to fortify his fence. It was then, the memo says, he tried to surrender the dogs to Animal Control for a second time, but the request was declined, “based on Putnam County Animal Control’s assessment of the situation.”

Ten days later, investigators determined, the dogs escaped the fence their owner had patched with rocks, logs, cinder blocks and other materials in an attempt to keep them contained and attacked Rock.

The five dogs have since been euthanized.

The Sheriff’s Office had recommended charges of misdemeanor recklessness on the part of the dog owner, but the State Attorney’s Office investigation found he wasn’t reckless based on the actions he had taken to get rid of the dogs and fix the fence.

Animal Control they referred the I-TEAM to the county administration for comment. We did not hear back by publication of this article.

About the Author:

I-TEAM and general assignment reporter