Investigation Into the Leeds Dog Mauling Continues

What begin as a stroll out to the street to check his mail box, ended up as a tragic, deadly incident for one elderly Leeds resident.  Donald Thomas, 82, walked out to his mail box and tragically was attacked by two of his neighbor’s dogs. 

When his wife, Frances “Sally” Thomas, returned from her trip to the grocery store, she found her husband sprawled in their neighbor’s yard with the two dogs milling nearby.  Sally said that the mail was scattered everywhere, his glasses and walking stick were on the ground near his body, and that her husband was still alive when she arrived on the scene.  “I screamed and hollered, but nobody was around.  Nobody passed,” she said.  “He was very badly tore up.”

Mrs. Thomas explained that she had to leave her husband to call for help.  When police arrived on the scene, the two Rottweilers charged the officers, forcing the officers to shoot and kill both animals.  Rescue workers and St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell also arrived on the scene, and Russell then pronounced her husband dead.

According to Thomas, her neighbors, the Lentons, raised and bred Rottweilers and told her the dogs were friendly.  “They (the dogs) were smart.  They’d know just when (the Lentons) left and they would get out,” said Thomas.  She did state that she wasn’t afraid of the dogs as they had been in her yard before and had never acted aggressively towards her.  She also said she believes the dogs were just trying to be playful with her husband, but probably knocked him down, and once they did, he was helpless.  “I think they just got excited and when they knocked him down, he tried to fight them off with his walking stick and they attacked.”  More than thirty dogs, according to Thomas, were taken from the Lenton’s home that night.  Police are still investigating the incident.

When you or a family member are injured by a dog bite or attack, it is advisable to immediately seek medical care and contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.  Alabama law holds the owners of dogs responsible for any harm caused by their pets, and you may be entitled to receive damages for medical expenses, and pain and suffering.