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Texas Man Mauled to Death by Pack of Dogs Days After Gov. Abbott Vetoes Related Bill

A Texas man was mauled to death by a pack of dogs on Tuesday, authorities said, three days after the state’s governor vetoed a bill that would have enacted harsher penalties for those who own vicious canines.

The attack occurred around 5 a.m. Tuesday in Rockport, a city on the southern coast of Texas. Deputies with the Aransas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residential area after receiving a report that a man was screaming for help, according to a media release from the agency.

The attack was still in progress when deputies arrived at the scene, prompting one of them to fire his service weapon and hit one of the dogs, the sheriff’s office said. The injured canine and the rest of the pack fled the area, allowing medics to perform CPR in an attempt to revive the man who had been attacked.

But the man, identified as 40-year-old Lewis Flores, later died from his injuries.

Some of the dogs were captured that day by Aransas County Animal Care, the sheriff’s office said. Local ABC affiliate KIIITV reported Wednesday evening that 33-year-old Guadalupe Carreon was arrested and charged in connection with Flores’ death, and that all the dogs had been located and were in custody of the animal control agency.

Carreon is listed as an inmate at the Aransas County Jail and has been charged with attack by dog resulting in death, according to an online booking list.

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Attack comes on heels of Abbott’s veto of “Ramon Najera Act”

The fatal attack occurred three days after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for local animal care service departments to investigate dangerous dogs. The proposed legislation would also have strengthened criminal penalties for owners whose dogs have repeatedly been behind unprovoked attacks and would have protected the identity of anyone who reports dangerous dogs.

Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a bill signing ceremony last week at the Texas Capitol.

Dubbed the “Ramon Najera Act,” the legislation was named for the 81-year-old Air Force veteran who was killed in a February dog attack in San Antonio. 

Christian Alexander Moreno and Abilene Schnieder of San Antonio were both arrested after their dogs mauled Najera to death and injured three others — including Najera’s wife — on Feb. 24. Investigators believed that Moreno and Schnieder, who are awaiting trial, were training the dogs to be aggressive while keeping the canines in an unsecured yard without chains or other tethers.

The dogs were later euthanized.

In the months following the attack, the Texas House approved the proposed measure May 12, followed by the Texas Senate’s approval on May 22. Abbott issued his veto on Friday, arguing in a proclamation that the state’s existing laws were sufficient.

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“Texas’s existing criminal laws penalize attacks by dangerous dogs — so much so that felony arrests have already been made of the dog owners responsible,” Abbott wrote. “The justice system should be allowed to work without the overcriminalization found in this bill.”

Abbott added that he plans to work with Texas Rep. Elizabeth Campos (D-San Antonio), who authored the bill, to create investigations and procedures to stop dog attacks before they occur.

Source : USA Today