An Illinois man is dead after struggling to save his dog’s life during a morning walk, according to police.
Officers with the Bethalto Police Department responded to a call at 10:37 a.m. about a dog attack at a community in neighboring East Alton, Chief Mike Dixon said in a release.
Ronald Jones, 64, was walking his dog when a woman walking two dogs of her own crossed paths, according to Dixon. Straining against their leashes, the dogs broke away from the woman, knocking her to the ground as they rushed to attack Jones’ dog.
Jones and the woman scrambled to pull the dogs apart “for several minutes” until Jones suddenly collapsed, the release said.
When police arrived, Jones and his dog were sprawled on the ground, motionless. Nearby, the other two dogs were fighting each other while their owner, covered in bites, still struggled to break them up.
The responding officer “secured the scene” and attempted to revive Jones by performing CPR and using a defibrillator, Dixon said.
Despite the life-saving efforts, Jones died at the scene. He did not appear to have been injured by the dogs, and his cause of death is under investigation.
The woman was taken by ambulance to a hospital in St. Louis, where she was treated for “multiple bites,” according to police. It isn’t clear what became of her two dogs.
Though badly injured, Jones’ dog survived the attack and is receiving treatment at an animal hospital.
Jones’ family is “unsure how they will pay for the care,” but Bethalto police have promised to contribute $400 to the cause, Dixon said, adding that the department’s “deepest condolences go out to Mr. Jones’ family.”
Bethalto is about 30 miles northeast of downtown St. Louis.