A pack of dogs is believed to have fatally injured a Bascom man found lying dead next to Kirkland Road around 7:48 a.m. Wednesday morning, about seven miles from his home and roughly one mile from a house he visited the night before.
Alerted to his presence hours later, officials from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol responded to the area.
“Upon completing a thorough investigation, it was determined that the subject had been walking in the roadway, when he suffered life threatening injuries from an animal attack. The deceased was identified as Donald Ray Allen, 65 years old, from Bascom,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Office authorities said in a press release issued Thursday morning.
“The injuries are believed to have been caused by a pack of stray dogs roaming in the area.”
Roberts said at a Thursday afternoon press conference that an autopsy confirmed that the man’s fatal injuries were a result of the attack.
At the press conference, Roberts said Allen didn’t have his own transportation and had caught a ride Wednesday night to a residence about a mile from where his body was found, having later left that house on foot. The last known communications with him were around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.
Animal traps have been placed in the area in an attempt to catch the dogs that may have been involved and drones are also being used in the attempt to find them. Night flights are also being undertaken.
It was not known whether rabies was a factor, but officials said it was not likely since animals with that illness rarely travel in groups.
Roberts also said that the dogs are strays of the domesticated type, rather than wild canines like coyotes, and he did not rule out that it's possible they are pets.
Individuals in the area, and generally, are cautioned against walking alone at night and anyone that has information about the dogs is asked to contact the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 850-482-9624 or animal control at 850-718-0021.