No justice for families one year after deadly dog attack in Lubbock park

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 10:24 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Ruth Ann Muffley’s scars are a daily reminder of the attack she survived.

On Sept. 27, 2022, she and her dog Flaca were on their daily walk at Buddy Holly Recreation Area.

“It does feel like it was just yesterday that it happened. It’s still fresh in my head,” Muffley said.

Muffley said she noticed three large dogs with no owners in sight. She began to walk the other way, but it was too late. The dogs knocked her to the ground and began to attack.

Her screams could be heard across the park by men working nearby. They came to her rescue and distracted the dogs as Muffley ran to safety.

“They saved my life. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” Muffley said.

As Muffley ran across a nearby bridge, she noticed scattered clothing and the body of a man she recognized.

“I still get that vision,” Muffley said.

The jogger, she later learned, was Jack Looney.

“I started seeing him running out here like a week before the attack. I started saying good morning to him and he would wave,” Muffley said.

The KCBD Investigates team obtained Looney’s autopsy report, who died just a week shy of his 65th birthday.

There are three pages of documented injuries including but not limited to puncture wounds, lacerations, abrasions, and bruising.

The cause of death was ruled a canine mauling.

In the year since the attacks, no one has admitted to owning the dogs.

Looney’s little sister, Teresa Roeder, is not surprised.

“If your dogs murdered someone, would you come forward - because they are your responsibility?” Roeder said.

From October 2021 to September 2022, Lubbock Animal Services reported 730 dog bites.

From October 2022 to Sept. 25, 2023, 894 dog bites were reported.

In that same time period, Lubbock Animal Services reported 16 dangerous dog cases which resulted in 24 dogs being declared dangerous.

Roeder said she saw a pack of aggressive dogs earlier this month outside of her office. She said a man had been bitten several times by the dogs and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

“It’s a year later and we are still wondering what is being done,” Roeder said.

Roeder said the last 12 months have been difficult without her big brother.

“365 days feels like forever,” Roeder said.

Roeder said she and Looney were close and became even closer after the death of her husband seven years ago.

She said Looney picked up the household chores around the house that her husband used to handle, like mowing the grass.

Roeder said Looney checked on her and her daughter nearly every night, a routine that came either before or after his walk at Buddy Holly Recreation Area.

“He loved the nature and the peace and quiet,“ Roeder said. “It was his happy spot.”

Roeder believes Looney went for a long walk around 1 a.m., which was not uncommon, and was attacked by the pack of dogs a couple of hours later.

“So many people tried to get him to quit coming out here in the middle of the night to do his walk,” Roeder said. “If we had gotten him to stop, think of all of the thousands of days, literally because he did it for years, thousands of days and nights of joy he would have missed.”

Roeder said she is happy to see people enjoying the place Looney loved so much, but she does worry about their safety.

“We have a serious dog problem,” Roeder said.

Roeder said she would like to see more fines given to irresponsible pet owners.

“I would like every pet owner to be required to have their animal chipped and if they are found to not be chipped then they get a fine,” Roeder said.

Knowing who owned the dogs will not bring Roeder’s big brother back, or help Muffley heal any more quickly, but it would give these women something they may never have - justice.