A Georgia college student who cared for abandoned animals for nearly a decade was attacked and killed by a dog, police said.
Rebecca Carey, 23, was killed at her Decatur home sometime over the weekend, MyFoxAtlanta.com reports.
Authorities said Carey, who worked with dogs since she was a young teenager, had five dogs living with her at the time of her death. They included a pit bull, which she had owned for six years, a boxer mix and a Presa, a large Spanish breed. She was also dogsitting another Presa for a friend.
Carey’s body was discovered Sunday afternoon after she failed to show up for work at Alpharetta’s Loving Hands Animal Clinic. The dogs that she was caring for in her home were euthanized on Wednesday. It was unclear which dog killed Carey.
"Since the second grade when she read the book 'Throw Away Pets,' she vowed to be a voice for all animals," her parents, Greg and Ellen Carey, said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Upon placing her first abandoned animal in a permanent loving home in 2003, she volunteered countless hours with rescue networks and animal shelters. There she did what she loved the most: rescuing animals from untenable situations to find them safe, loving homes."
Sgt. Kim Medlin of DeKalb County Animal County said Carey’s death was the county’s first fatal dog bite.
“I don’t know these dogs, but I know what they did,” Medlin told MyFoxAtlanta.com. “And that’s how we made our judgment.”
The cause of death was listed as neck and upper torso injuries consistent with dog bites, the website reports.
Neighbor Monica Cofer said the dogs had never shows any signs of aggression in the past.
“They never showed any type of aggression,” she told the website. “Even if one got loose, you could tell them to go back to their yard and they’d go back.”