An Alabama dog lover affectionately known in her community as “the mouth of the South” was viciously mauled to death by her neighbor’s canines in an early morning attack on Sunday.
Ronda Persall, 57, died after two dogs somehow escaped her neighbor’s yard at around 2:30 a.m. and pounced on her on a road in the small community of Jones Chapel. Cullman County officials said the dogs, both lab mixes, were “confined and being tested” while the sheriff’s office investigates.
The neighbor told local TV station WBRC that it was a “mystery” to him how his dogs got out.
“They can’t dig through [the fence]. There are boards all around it. They couldn’t chew through it. It’s a metal fence,” said the owner, who wouldn’t give his name to WBRC. He described the dogs to ABC 33/40 as “playful [and] not that kind of dog.”
The neighbor said he woke up early Sunday after hearing a commotion and ran outside to find Persall lying beside a car with the dogs surrounding her and biting her.
“I picked her up out of them. They started biting on me,” he said. “...I asked her if she was ok. She said ‘baby I’m ok, but I’m hurting.’”
He told ABC 33/40 his wife called 911 but he ended up driving her to a hospital as it was quicker. “She was tore up, she had been attacked pretty bad,” he said.
The man claimed he then shot dead 12 mutts in his yard, including the two dogs that attacked Persall, contrary to the county’s statement that the two dogs had been confined.
57-year-old Ronda Persall of Jones Chapel died after being attacked by multiple dogs early Sunday morning.
We spoke to the man who owned the dogs about what happened. He also shows us injuries he got when he tried to get his dogs off of her. @abc3340 pic.twitter.com/0gcry1OYZ8
— Valerie Bell (@vbell_reports) May 23, 2022
Another local resident, Carman Cupp, describer Persall as a retiree with an outgoing personality, whom she called “the mouth of the South.”
“She was loud. Anything was liable to come out of that little mouth. You’d hear Ronda coming before you saw her,” Cupp told CBS 42.
Persall loved dogs, which made her death all the more difficult to comprehend, Cupp said. “I just can’t get over them dogs doing that to her. She’s attracted to dogs. And they loved her. Animals loved her.”
It’s unclear what Persall was doing at the time of the attack but she was a longtime family friend of the neighbor and would often visit their home.
“I’ve gotta live with that, I’ve got to live with that forever, I’ve got to see that picture, sooner or later I’ve got to explain that to my children because all they know is Ms. Ronda’s not here,” he told ABC 33/40, describing Persall as “kind-hearted.”
“She had a few oddities. She was eccentric I guess you’d call her, but she was good as gold,” he told WBRC. “She wasn’t no mean lady at all. She didn’t deserve it.”
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