EAST ALTON, Ill. — A 64-year-old man collapsed and died while trying to save his dog from an attack by two other dogs Saturday morning.
According to a Facebook post from the Bethalto Police Department, shortly after 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the Bethalto police received a call about dogs fighting and attacking people from a resident in the Old Oak Ridge Trailer Park in East Alton.
When police arrived on the scene, according to the post, they found a woman suffering from multiple injuries from dog bites trying to separate two dogs from another dog. The woman was taken to a St. Louis hospital for treatment. The woman was identified as the owner of the two dogs.
Police found the 64-year-old man, identified in the post as Ronald Dale Jones, collapsed on the ground, unresponsive. His dog, Isis, was found next to him, severely injured.
The post further describes how the responding officer performed life-saving measures on Jones after securing the scene. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Madison County Coroner's Office. The post said it does not appear Jones was physically attacked by any of the dogs, and an official cause of death was being determined.
An investigation revealed the woman was walking her dogs on a leash and Jones was walking his dog on a leash, when the woman's dogs knocked her down and broke free from her grasp and attacked Jones' dog.
Both Jones and the woman attempted to separate the dogs from each other before Jones collapsed, the post said.
But Jones' daughter, Kelsey Jones said they don't think that's exactly what happened.
"From what I heard from witnesses, they were not on a leash they started attacking my dad's dog who was on a leash and I guess just the struggle of getting the two dogs off of him was too much for his heart," Jones said.
One of Jones' friends and neighbors, Steve Brown, said the trailer park isn't safe anymore.
"You can’t even walk around the park anymore it’s just not that safe, especially on the other end," Brown said.
Kelsey Jones said another neighbor put in a complaint about the dogs but nothing was done.
"They were scared to come outside because of these dogs and apparently that message was ignored and that resulted in this incident. I think it could’ve been avoided," Jones said.
Brown said he's heartbroken by the loss of such a good friend.
"He mowed my grass the other day. He walks his dog several times a day. He’s one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet," Brown said.
"He was the type of person to give his own shirt off of his back for you," Jones said.
Jones' dog was severely injured and taken to an emergency vet by Jones' family. "They are unsure how they will pay for the care, but the Bethalto Police Department has pledged to pay the first $400 of the bill," the post said.
Jones said they have a GoFundMe open to help save her father's best friend and pay for his funeral.