A 66-year-old Minnesota man visiting his son's winter home in Texas is recovering after being mauled by three pit bulls and a blue heeler.
Ed Kacures had planned to start his drive back to St. Joseph, Minn., on Sunday. But on Saturday afternoon, he was attacked when he went to get the mail at his son's home in Rosanky, about 35 miles southeast of Austin.
Authorities said the dogs escaped from a neighbor's pen and cleared a 5-foot wooden fence to attack Kacures, who needed skin and kidney grafts and more than 150 staples to repair the damage. He was in good condition Wednesday at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin.
Officials with Bastrop County animal control said the dogs' owner, Ray Fuentes, would be cited for not maintaining current vaccinations on three of the dogs and could face criminal charges if witnesses testify that the animals left his property. The dogs were destroyed shortly after the attack and tested negative for rabies.
In Rosanky, a community of gravel roads and homes in wooded areas, neighbors said dogs are common but attacks are rare.
According to family members, Kacures went to check his son Carl's mailbox across the street near Fuentes' property.
"He told me he got the mail, turned around, and the dogs were right there," Carl Kacures said. "He tried to get back onto my property, yelling and screaming for the neighbors around the corner."
The dogs had worked their way loose from a pen deep inside Fuentes' 5-acre lot. They pinned Ed Kacures to the fence of his son's home. Several neighbors threw rocks and branches to distract the dogs. A passer-by in a pickup stopped and swung a pipe at the animals from the bed of the truck, Carl Kacures said. The dogs then retreated to Fuentes' property, where they were later retrieved by authorities.
Fuentes said the attack came as a surprise.
"They were very, very friendly," he said. "They lived with cats and chickens, and we never had any problems. But if anyone has those kind of dogs, I would suggest they get rid of them."
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