A man in California was mauled to death by a pack of dogs on Sunday, the Selma Police Department said in a press release. When police arrived on scene, an individual was attempting to separate the dogs from the 59-year-old victim.
First aid was administered and the man, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital, where he died, the department said. The number of dogs involved or type of breed was not specified.
The dogs escaped from a nearby residence and attacked the man while he was walking through the neighborhood, investigators learned. The person who tried to help the man was also bitten by one of the dogs and suffered a minor injury.
The dogs were captured by officers and are being quarantined. The owner of the dogs is cooperating with officials. CBS News has reached out to the Selma Police Department for further information.
In 2020, the U.S. recorded 46 dog-bite-related fatalities, according to DogsBite.org, a nonprofit that collects data from news and police reports.
Eight fatal dog attacks in 2020 “resulted in meaningful criminal charges,” which is below the 15-year average of 20%, according to the nonprofit. According to the most recent data provided by the nonprofit, Illinois led all states in lethal dog attacks with six deaths in 2020. Florida had five deaths while California, Georgia and Louisiana each had three deaths.
However, dog bites were underreported in California and Texas in 2020, according to the nonprofit. The two states combined had an average of 8.8 dog-bite fatalities per year between 2015 and 2019. In 2020, that number fell to five.
Last month, seven dogs mauled a 71-year-old man to death in an unprovoked attack in Texas,The dogs’ owner, 47-year-old Samuel Cartwright, is facing felony charges after his seven pit bull mix dogs attacked and killed Freddy Garcia during a store run in Fresno, Texas, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office said.
Emergency personnel airlifted Garcia to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston where he was pronounced dead, Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan said during a press conference.
More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S. and about 1 in 5 — more than 800,000 — receive medical attention, according to the CDC. At least half of dog-bite victims are children.
Dogs can bite for a number of reasons, including being sick, being in a stressful situation, being scared or startled or to protect something valuable to them like puppies, a toy or food. It is up to dog owners to prevent their dog from biting, according to the CDC, which provides resources for dog owners.
While some states have a one-bite rule — meaning the dog owner is not liable for a dog bite unless the dog was known to have bitten before — California has a strict liability law. Under the state’s law, the dog owner “is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”