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Interlachen postal worker attacked by dogs after car broke down has died

The 61-year-old woman was found bleeding severely with the dogs nearby Monday. The United States Postal Service has confirmed her death.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The 61-year-old postal worker who was attacked by a pack of five dogs in Interlachen, Florida, after her car broke down on the side of the road, has died from her injuries, the U.S. Postal Service has confirmed.

The USPS said in a statement:

"A postal family member lost her life in a dog bite attack.  The U.S. Postal Service is deeply saddened at the loss of our employee. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and her co-workers at this time."  

The incident happened in the Lake Estates area Sunday. The victim was found severely bleeding with five dogs nearby inside a fence at a residence in the 2000 block of Walker Drive, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

RELATED: Five dogs that killed postal worker in Putnam County escaped their enclosure

Witnesses told deputies they heard a woman screaming for help and when they went outside they saw her on the ground with five dogs attacking, the news release states. One neighbor told First Coast News, dogs have been running rampant in the area for months. 

Several neighbors rushed to help by attempting to pull the dogs off of her and one neighbor shot a rifle into the ground to scare the animals, according to the news release. First Coast News talked the neighbor who said he fired the shots. He asked to remain anonymous. He described the 61-year-old mail carrier as sweet; she would leave apples in the mailbox for horses. 

After deputies arrived, they started first aid and applied tourniquets until rescue units arrived. 

The woman was taken to HCA Florida Putnam Hospital by ambulance and then flown by helicopter to a trauma center in Gainesville.

Animal Control arrived at scene and took custody of the five dogs identified by witnesses, the news release states. The sheriff said they're continuing to investigate. The United States Postal Service sent First Coast News a statement about the incident. 

"The safety of our carriers is of paramount concern to the Postal Service. The Postal Service highlights safety initiatives and provides employees with ongoing dog bite awareness training. Each year, we participate in National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Our carriers are trained to use their mail satchel as the first line of defense, which can be wielded like a soft shield, and they are equipped to carry pepper spray. If a loose dog is known to be on the carrier's delivery route, the address can be programmed into their delivery scanner, and an alert will pop up when they approach that area to warn them.

Unfortunately attacks such as this provide the Postal Service an opportunity to remind dog owners that it is their responsibility to restrain their pet in order to avoid attacks against our employees while they are in performance of their duties.

The Postal Service offers these tips for homeowners to prevent dog attacks:

•  When a mail carrier delivers mail or packages to your door, put your dog in a separate room and close that door.

•   Teach your children and family members to not take mail directly while the family pet is nearby. The animal may see that as a threatening gesture.

•  Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dog in any situation.

•  The USPS is using technology to help keep mail carriers safe. When a customer uses the Package Pickup application on usps.com, customers are asked to indicate whether there is a dog at the address. That information is relayed through the delivery scanners.

•  If a mail carrier feels threatened, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a nearby post office. And if a dog is roaming the neighborhood, the neighbors may also be asked to pick up mail at the Post Office."


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