Joseph D. Hines, 58, of Burnettsville, Indiana, was killed last week by “Honey,” the male pit bull he rescued four to five years ago. Neighbors say the man and the dog were often seen out walking together. But on December 3, Honey severed Hines' right jugular vein, as well as inflicting bite wounds on his ankle and forearms.
Hines’ sister, Shirley Silkey, of Sand Springs, Oklahoma, said she had not heard that Honey was aggressive or had behavioral problems. "He loved his dogs, she said. “He found this dog and took care of it. I guess the dog just lost it. He wasn't a puppy and wasn't real old. He was still filling out."
Hines’ body was not found for two days and the results of the autopsy were just released. “This is the first fatal dog attack I've seen," said the White County Coroner Matt Westerhouse.
Joseph Hines was described as a down-to-earth guy with a great sense of humor. “I'll always remember his laughter. He was so upbeat and happy. He never got down in the dumps," Shirley Silkey told Bob Scott of jconline.com. She said her younger brother had worked at Walmart in Monticello but was unemployed at the time of his death.
Hines had never married and had no children. He lived on N. County Road in rural Burnettsville in a home owned by his cousin. (Burnettsville is about 70 miles north of Indianapolis.)
The pit bull, Honey, was ordered to be put down.