Bethalto Police and others are shown at the scene of a tragic incident involving three dogs and two dog owners on Saturday morning. (Photo by Patrick Springman)

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EAST ALTON - At 10:37 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022, the Bethalto Police Department responded to a 911 call from a resident of Old Oak Ridge Trailer Park, 100 Wesley Drive, East Alton, who reported multiple dogs fighting and attacking people.

An officer arrived to find a female, who had been bitten multiple times wrestling with two actively fighting dogs, an unresponsive male lying on the ground, and a third dog that was badly injured.

The responding officer secured the scene and proceeded to render aid to the unresponsive male by initiating CPR in combination with a defibrillator. The Bethalto Fire Department and Alton Memorial Hospital Ambulance services were also dispatched to the scene. Despite the officer and emergency medical services' best efforts the man, who has been identified as Ronald D. Jones, age 64, lost his life. Jones was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Madison County Coroner’s Office.

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The female was transported from the scene by EMS to a St. Louis Regional Hospital where she is being treated for what appears to be multiple bites and other associated injuries, Bethalto Police Chief Mike Dixon said.

"The injured female has been identified as the owner of two of the three dogs involved, while Mr. Jones was identified as the owner of the third dog, which was seriously injured," Chief Dixon added.

The chief continued: "Initial evidence suggests that Mr. Jones was walking his dog on a leash when the two other dogs, which were also being walked on leashes pulled their owner down, breaking free from her grasp, and attacked Mr. Jones’ dog. Both owners attempted to separate the dogs at the scene for several minutes before Mr. Jones collapsed. The cause of death is still under investigation and pending an autopsy, but the evidence doesn’t suggest Mr. Jones was physically attacked by the dogs.

"Mr. Jones’ family members transported his canine to an area animal hospital for emergency medical treatment. 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."

More about a fundraiser for the family likely will be announced on Monday and will follow the story.

"Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Jones’ family," Chief Dixon concluded.

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