The accidental drowning of 64-year-old Suzanne Floyd of Fort Worth, on Saturday afternoon in Denton County had many of her relatives shaken up and still in tears on Sunday evening.
"I got my daughter here in the background, she's crying," said Randall Messman, 42, one of her relatives.
Floyd, the founder of Salty Dogs Rescue in Weatherford, drowned in Lewisville Lake on Saturday in the Oak Point area of Denton, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. The drowning occurred at 1616 Lake Shore Boulevard when she went out on a boat with her father, who is in his late 80s, Messman said.
"They were out on the lake boating and I talked to her dad and he said she jumped in like she's done a thousand times before," said Messman. "She wanted to jump in and get cool and swim. Talking to her dad he said she just didn't come up for a while."
Denton County Sheriff's Office deputies were able to locate her body shortly afterward and attempted to resuscitate her, according to Messman.
"They tried to resuscitate her and they couldn't," he said.
Floyd was transported to Medical City Hospital in Denton where she died at 2:38 p.m., the medical examiner reported. On Sunday morning, her drowning was determined to be accidental.
Floyd is originally from Denton where she graduated from Denton High School before studying at the University of North Texas. After that she worked as a special education teacher for the Denton Independent School District for years until she found her calling with animals five years ago, Messman said.
"She has always had a soft spot in her heart for dogs," he said.
She spent time volunteering with an animal rescue organization before founding Salty Dogs Rescue in Weatherford in 2013. The organization is a non-profit dedicated to saving unwanted, mistreated, homeless dogs, soon to lose their lives, from pounds and the streets, according to its website.
Initially, she started with the idea of rescuing all dog breeds until she saw a more pressing need to help rescue pit bulls, according to Messman.
"It was probably a few years back that she started taking in pit bulls. Mostly," he said. "These were dogs that were going to be put down and they weren't going to have anywhere else to go. She spent almost all of her time caring for these dogs. Raising money for the dogs and getting them spayed and neutered."
Now, she has left behind 30 dogs that still need to be cared for, according to Messman.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds for the animals at Salty Dogs Rescue.
"She's always had a great love for pets," said Messman. "We've got to go out there tomorrow and try to figure things out."
No additional details have been given at this time.