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Seven dogs that mauled Putnam County man to be euthanized, no criminal charges filed

Ruben Josey says he was attacked by seven dogs in Satsuma, in Putnam County causing him to lose part of his left ear.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE: A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for James' medical bills.  He expects to be out of work for a year or more.


On Jan. 30, while walking his dog through a friends neighborhood in Satsuma, Ruben Josey was mauled by seven dogs from a nearby home. The dogs will be euthanized. 

"It's a miracle I am alive," Josey told First Coast News from his hospital room.

The dogs were surrendered to animal control and the owners cooperated with investigators following the attack. 

The owner was given the option to take the dogs home but the owner declined. The seven dogs will be euthanized after the attack as they are considered unadoptable, officials said.

No criminal charges will be filed.

"I got a whole bunch of stitches on my hands, on my arms, fingers," Josey said. "I lost half my left ear. I got so many staples on top of my head."

Credit: Courtesy: Ruben Josey
Ruben Josey was attacked by seven dogs in late January in Satsuma. He lost a portion of his left ear.

He was life-flighted, undergoing several skin graphs. He lost a lot of blood and doctors told him he has some nerve damage.  

"I was close to death. I mean there was no doubt about it. I was ready to hang it up," Josey said.

Police did not have any previous complaints about the dogs involved in the attack. 

Jacksonville dog behavior specialist, Jim Crosby, has worked similar, and sometimes deadly cases.

"You don't want to reach in even though your whole body is telling, screaming, 'I've got to save my dog.' Instead you can wind up and I've worked far too many human fatalities from exactly that happening," Crosby said.

He suggests trying to create a barrier between you and the dogs like Josey's friend did by using a metal broom to finally get the dogs to let go of their grip.  

He says pepper spray is a cheap safety tool, too.

"We never expect anything bad to happen, but pepper spray is a very effective deterrent to dogs," he said.

Crosby said the state of Florida allows owners, in some cases, to regain custody but there are costly regulations.  

"He would, for all seven of the dogs, have a secure containment built.  They would have to be on leashes and muzzles and he would have to get substantial insurance on each and every one of those dogs," Crosby told First Coast News.

Crosby credits Josey's friend for saving his life, putting the situation in perspective by knowing it could have been much worse.

"If there hadn't been somebody who intervened, we would probably be doing this at a crime scene at his house rather than here," Crosby said.

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