A man was found dead after a passer-by reported seeing two dogs attacking his body in a clearing by railroad tracks near a trailer park home just south of Calpella Friday morning, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
The man wasn't identified Friday, and the cause of his death is under investigation.
"He had multiple injuries consistent with dog bites," Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said.
A driver in the area called the Sheriff's Office dispatch center at 10:41 a.m. Feb. 14 and reported seeing a man lying in the ground in a clearing beside the road in the 5000 block of North State Street, and two dogs attacking his body, according to the MCSO.
Sheriff's Animal Control officer Torsten Werner responded and saw a Rottweiler and a pitbull standing over the man's body. He yelled to get the dogs' attention and the Rottweiler charged aggressively at him. Werner reportedly shot at the dog twice and hit the Rottweiler at least once, killing the animal, according to the MCSO.
The other dog, described as a white pitbull, ran from the area and was not found after "an exhaustive search of the area," according to the MCSO.
A 12-year-old boy who lives next door to the trailer home where the dogs were kept behind a tall fence and was out of school on Valentine's Day, said he heard the two gunshots around 11 a.m. Friday morning. The boy said he had never seen the dogs out of their fenced yard, and that they only barked at people who came especially close to their fence.
Sheriff's detectives and Mendocino County District Attorney's Office investigators also responded to the scene, and the cause of the man's death is under investigation.
"At this time, investigators do not believe the adult male died as a result of an animal attack, although evidence of animal activity on the adult male's body was evident," the MCSO stated.
Detectives are working to identify the man, and an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Animal Control officers took the Rottweiler from the scene to be autopsied as well, according to the MCSO. Detectives have not yet determined who owns the dogs.
Anyone who spots the white pitbull or a dog looking like it is urged not to approach the animal, but to call MCSO dispatch at 463-4086. Anhyone with information about the incident is urged to call the MCSO tip line at 234-2100.
In a separate incident later the same day, authorities responded to another dog attack and shooting on Coyote Road just east of North State Street, according to Allman. He said no one died, but one man was injured. No further information was available about the second incident Friday night.
Tiffany Revelle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @TiffanyRevelle or at 468-3523.