Texas woman mauled to death by dogs


AUSTIN, TX (KXAN) — A Texas woman is dead after several dogs attacked her at the front gate of a property near Austin.

Erin McCleskey, 36, was visiting the home on Fay Street on business Wednesday when she was attacked. A caretaker that arrived at the home to feed the dogs phoned 911. Deputies arrived around 9 p.m. to find her dead. A medical examiner determined McCleskey had been dead for at least five hours.

A spokesperson for EZ Messenger says McCleskey was an independent contractor process server and was working for their company at the time of the attack. It is not known what type of paperwork she was serving.

“Most of the time, dogs don’t do that, it’s very odd, very odd. I hate to hear it,” said Vernon Ballard. He lives down the street from the property where McCleskey was attacked. Ballard says his family has had problems with the dogs at that home for years.

“They do jump on everything. I don’t trust them, they’re scary. I don’t even like my dogs going around the block with us because I’m afraid that they will get attacked over there,” said Melissa Ballard. The couple is also worried about the dogs going after their 10-year-old daughter and other children in the neighborhood.

“They come out and chase them if they are riding their bikes and stuff and even the cars, they chase the cars if we go around the block,” said Melissa.

Travis County Animal Protection Officers impounded six dogs in a rabies quarantine. According to Animal Protection, the dogs involved appear to be Lab/Great Pyrenees mixes and two of the dogs appear to be a husky/Australian cattle dog mix. Fourteen puppies were also found on the property.

The city is expected to file legal paperwork regarding the dogs sometime Friday. The case will then go to a hearing next week where a judge will determine if the dogs will be euthanized.

McCleskey’s family released a statement Thursday night:

Our family is heart-broken over the tragic passing of our affectionate, fun-loving daughter, Erin. She was an adventurous woman who always lived her life to the fullest and never shied away from a challenge. Erin loved people and had a special affection for animals. Her infectious laughter will be missed by her family and friends. Life will never be the same without her.”

Authorities are investigating her death.

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