Alabama public health worker killed by dogs; Woman charged with manslaughter

An Alabama Health Department worker died Friday after being attacked by a pack of dogs, authorities said.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office identified the clerk as Jacqueline Summer Beard. She was 58 and lived in Muscle Shoals.

Deputies found her body during an investigation on Crumpton Road in a rural area south of the town of Red Bay in northwest Alabama, near the Mississippi state line.

Shannon Oliver, the Franklin County Sheriff, narrated Beard was apparently in the area to track a dog attack that took place earlier in the week.

In that previous attack, a woman was walking when a pack of dogs mauled her. Oliver said the woman remains hospitalized in Mississippi.

“She was in a pretty serious condition,” he said.

Authorities said they believe Beard went on Friday morning for her follow-up visit.

Oliver said health officials typically investigate dog attacks due to the health threat posed by rabies.

Around 6pm MPs went to Crumpton Road to investigate a report of a suspect vehicle and found Beard’s body.

While they were at the scene, deputies said, several of the same dogs that attacked Beard and the other woman began attacking local residents. One person suffered minor injuries.

“It is believed that Beard was attacked while attempting to contact the dog’s owner when she was killed by the dogs,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

MPs arrested Brandy Dowdy, the dogs’ owner, and charged her with manslaughter. Franklin County Jail records show the 29-year-old is being held without bail.

Oliver said there were seven dogs. Some were euthanized immediately, according to the sheriff.

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