Lifestyle & Human Interest

Health Department Investigator Killed by Pack of Vicious Dogs while Looking Into Dog Attack Claim


When a report came in of a vicious pack of loose dogs in Franklin County, Alabama, the sheriff’s office was alerted.

A woman walking in the area had reportedly been attacked by seven loose dogs and had to receive treatment at the hospital, where she stayed at least through the end of April.

When an Alabama Department of Public Health employee went to investigate on Friday, tragedy struck again.

“The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a woman after a pack of dangerous dogs attacked her earlier today,” the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook. “Alabama Department of Public Health employee was following up on the dog attack from earlier this week when she was attacked by the same pack of dogs.

“The employee, Jacqueline Summer Beard, was located after someone called about a suspicious vehicle on Crumpton Road outside of Red Bay.”

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The post went on to say that as deputies arrived to investigate, several residents came out to meet them — and so did the loose dogs, which began attacking yet again.

Only one person sustained minor injuries, but no doubt it emphasized that the issue needed to be dealt with as soon as possible.

“Some of the dogs had to be euthanized immediately,” the post continued. “When the deputies started investigating the suspicious vehicle, they located the body of Jacqueline Beard. Franklin County Coroner Charlie Adcox was summoned and pronounced Beard deceased.

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“Beard was following up on an incident that had been reported to Franklin County Animal Control where a lady was attacked by a pack of dogs earlier this week. It is believed that Beard was attacked as she was attempting to contact the dog’s owner when she was killed by the dogs.”

The woman identified as the owner is Brandy Lee Dowdy, 39, and she was arrested for manslaughter and the dangerous dog law (also known as Emily’s Law).

The comments section on the sheriff office’s post was seething with angry locals and equally upset acquaintances of the woman who was arrested.

One person claimed that Dowdy was not the owner of the dogs, but that the dogs were strays and she’d tried to get help to remove them, but that animal control wouldn’t come out.

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Another person said that the area had no animal control, which is part of why loose and stray dogs were such an issue in the area.

The Alabama Department of Public Health did say in a statement that employees can choose to request law enforcement assistance when making calls, or they can choose to go alone.

Despite the underlying circumstances, the situation has now been dealt with and the dogs in question are no longer a threat to anyone in the area.

Many people have also chimed in to praise the worker who was killed, sharing their personal experiences and remembering her as a kind woman.

“The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) extends our deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and colleagues of Summer Beard, after her tragic passing,” ADPH’s Director of Health Media and Communications Division Ryan Easterling said in a statement, according to “Summer was known to her coworkers as an exceptional person. She was a tremendous team worker and was loved by those who knew her.

“It is a very sad day for ADPH, and we ask that everyone respect the privacy of the family during this most difficult time.”

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