KAMPSVILLE — A FedEx driver delivering a package north of Kampsville in Calhoun County was mauled Friday by two large dogs who broke through a screen door.
According to news sources, the driver — identified as Paul Gmoser — was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital where his left hand and wrist were amputated.
The dogs have been isolated and the owners issued a summons, Calhoun County Sheriff William Heffington said, adding a judge will determine the fate of the dogs.
"I've seen a lot of bites over the years, but this is the worst," he said.
"We've never had any complaints; there's no past history," Heffington said. "I feel bad for the homeowners, I feel bad for the victim."
He said the dogs were American bulldogs. Both had their shots, and Heffington said there had never been any incidents involving the animals or their owners prior to Friday's attack.
The incident occurred at about 2 p.m. June 4, according to Heffington. The driver was delivering a package on Pleasant Dale Hollow Road off Illinois 100 several miles north of Kampsville.
The owners were not home and, when the driver went up to the door, the two dogs apparently lunged at it and broke through, then attacked the driver.
The owners returned home a short time later to find the animals on the driver and called the police.
Media inquiries directed to the victim's attorneys — O'Leary, Shelton, Corrigan, Peterson, Dalton & Quillin LLC in Maryland Heights — were not returned Wednesday.
FedEx also released a statement on the incident.
"First and foremost, our thoughts remain focused on the well-being of the individual involved in this incident," a FedEx spokesman said in an emailed response to questions about the incident. "There is no higher priority for FedEx Ground than the safety and security of our team members and we are cooperating fully with the investigating authorities at this time."
Heffington said there has been an increase in dog bite cases, caused in part by the greater number of deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic. He noted he had a serious dog bit himself several months ago during an investigation.
He cautioned people expecting deliveries to make sure their dogs are properly confined.
According to the American Kennel Club, American bulldogs are "a well-balanced athletic dog that demonstrate great strength, endurance, agility, and a friendly attitude. Historically, they were bred to be a utility dog used for working the farm" and can reach weights of 80-100 pounds.