Freddie Mack cared thoroughly for the stray pooches that would show up outside his Johnson County mobile home.
Sometimes, neighbors would drop off a dog, and he would find it hard to decline to help.
“He called them his babies,” Malinda Dixon said of the collection of dogs her brother had on his 2 1/2 acres of land in Venus.
In the spring, they ate him.
Mack, 57, was last seen on April 9. He lived alone in his Johnson County mobile home. The dogs used a storage building on the property.
Mack had planned to build a home on the land, but could not after a beam struck his head while he was at work at Texas Aircraft Milling about two years ago, Dixon said. He suffered a traumatic brain injury that significantly altered his life. He could no longer drive.
Mack, who had a son, had worked for the company for about 30 years.
Although the dogs were likely aggressive with strangers, they were not hostile with him, Dixon said.
“They were protectors, of course,” Dixon said.
He spent as much as $300 a month on dog food.
“He had a heart of gold and could not not stand to see a dog suffer,” Dixon said.
No one can know if the dogs killed Mack or consumed him after he died from a medical condition, Johnson County Sheriff Adam King said.
A deputy sent to check his welfare on May 6 found 18 mixed-breed dogs in a fenced-in area outside Mack’s mobile home.
Bones later found on the property were analyzed by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, which identified the remains and DNA collected as Mack’s. It notified the sheriff’s office on Tuesday.
Deputies seized 16 dogs, and authorities obtained an order to euthanize 13 of them. Two of the dogs at the property in May were killed by other dogs.
Dixon recalled her brother as a steadfast animal-lover.
“Freddie was a kind-hearted man,” she said. “It’s going to be a big loss.”