Authorities say two dogs attacked an elderly Putnam County man, tearing off his right arm and seriously wounding his left.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office reports that 74-year-old Roy McSweeney was doing yard work Friday morning when the dogs -- either pit bulls or pit mixes -- jumped the fence and attacked. Besides the damage to his arms, McSweeney also suffered severe facial injuries.
He was taken to a Gainesville hospital, where doctors were trying to save his left arm. His condition wasn't immediately known.
Investigators determined that the dogs that attacked McSweeney belonged to his neighbor. The dogs were taken by officials and euthanized. The health department will test the animals for rabies.
No charges were immediately filed against the dogs' owner.
Update June 13, 2011 - The following article is by Dana Treen, The Florida Times-Union:
Hawthorne man attacked by pit bulls still fighting for his life, deputy says
Dogs that critically injured man didn't roam freely, owner's son says; families have known each other for years
A 74-year-old Hawthorne man attacked by pit bulls Sunday continues to fight for his life in a Gainesville hospital, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
The dogs that attacked Roy McSweeney, 74, tearing off one arm and nearly severing another, did not roam the Hawthorne neighborhood where the attack occurred, a son of the owner said Sunday.
Bradley Blitch, 21, said the dogs were kept kenneled.
"We're still trying to figure out what happened," he said.
Blitch said the dogs were pit bulls and had registration papers. Both have been euthanized following the attack.
The dogs attacked McSweeney while he was working in his neighboring yard on Old Hawthorne Road Friday morning. He was taken to Shands at the University of Florida, where he was in serious condition Monday and likely to undergo additional surgery, said Capt. Johnny Greenwood of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
Nursing supervisors at the hospital Sunday and Monday said no one by that name was on the patient manifest. They did not provide any other information about his condition.
McSweeney also had severe facial injuries, authorities said at the time of the attack.
Blitch said his family and McSweeney's have known each other for years.
"We're worried about him," he said. "It was an accident."
He said his family has been threatened since the attack. He said the dogs did not run loose, as some reports have said.
"We're not bad people," he said.
Update June 16, 2011 - The following article is from WPBF:
Fla. Man Whose Arms Torn Off In Dog Attack Dies
74-Year-Old Dies From Severe Blood Loss After Dogs Mauled Man
A north Florida man who whose arm was torn off in a dog attack has died.
Officials said Roy McSweeney, 74, died Wednesday afternoon in a Gainesville hospital.
Jennifer Biewend, his family's attorney, said McSweeney suffered brain damage from severe blood loss when the dogs tore off one arm and partially removed the other. The dogs -- either pit bulls or pit mixes -- also attacked the man's face.
The attack occurred June 10 as the man was doing yard work.
Investigators found that the dogs broke loose from the yard of McSweeney's next-door neighbor, Deanna Blitch. The dogs were taken by officials and euthanized.
No charges have been filed, but an investigation continues.
Update June 16, 2011 - The following article is from UPI:
74-year-old man mauled by pit bulls dies
A 74-year-old Florida man died after two next-door dogs ripped off one of his arms, nearly detached his other arm and severely disfigured his face, police said.
Roy McSweeney of Palatka, who was working in his yard when the attack occurred Friday morning, died Wednesday at a Gainesville, Fla., hospital, Putnam County Sheriff's Capt. Johnny Greenwood said.
He had also suffered brain damage due to severe blood loss from the attack, McSweeney's family lawyer said.
The dogs were euthanized soon after the attack, The Gainesville Sun reported.
McSweeney's family hired a law firm to investigate that also represents another man allegedly attacked by the same dogs in January 2010.
The second man, Robert Floyd, claims in a lawsuit he was attacked by the dogs, described by authorities as pit bulls or pit bull mixes, without provocation when he walked onto the property, which he was taking care of Jan. 13.
The alleged attack caused him pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, "loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life," medical expenses and loss of the ability to earn money, the lawsuit alleges.
It also alleges the dogs' owner, Deanna Blitch, 50, and her boyfriend, Beau Scurrey, knew or should have known the dogs were vicious, yet failed to adequately restrain them, the Sun said.
No charges have been filed against Blitch or Scurrey, the sheriff's office said.
- Neighbor's pit bulls kill elderly veteran Roy McSweeney in his yard - WTSP