Dog fatally injures volunteer at Florida shelter

A large dog fatally mutilated a longtime volunteer at a Florida animal shelter who was trying to help him acclimate to humans after he was found in the Everglades.

Pam Robb, a 71-year-old retired high school teacher, died in Thursday’s attack on the Florida Everglades shelter of more than 100 abandoned dogs near Fort Lauderdale, officials said. A second woman who tried to intervene was slightly injured.

Robb’s wife, Angie Anobilesay it South Florida Sun Sentinel that Robb had been working with the shelter’s mixed-breed dog named Gladys since the dog’s arrival about a month ago. She said the dog pulled Robb to the ground by the arm and attacked her.

She said Robb had recently raved about Gladys’ progress. The dog weighs over 100 pounds (45 kilograms).

Robb “was one of the few the dog resonated with,” Anobile told the newspaper. “She was just beginning to build a trusting relationship with the dog. His greatest joy was that these dogs respond to human contact, and I don’t blame anyone. It was a tragic accident, but I blame people who mistreat animals, who don’t love them the way they should be.

The shelter posted a message on Facebook saying staff were in mourning and asking for privacy. The shelter is well known for rescuing mixed-breed dogs often referred to as “pit bulls.”

The Legislature is currently considering a pair of bills ( (SB 614 and CS/HB 721) it would override remaining city rules that ban dogs based on race, including Miami’s ban on pit bulls. Dangerous dogs would be considered dangerous solely on the basis of their behavior, according to the bills.

In a January 18 Facebook post, the shelter showed Gladys’ rescue. The dog was sitting at the edge of a canal in an empty field and had been there for at least three days, the video shows. Rescuers threw chicken at the dog until they could coax him into a car to cheers.

The shelter then posted periodic video updates on Gladys, recently saying his progress was “slow and steady”. The posts were still live on Facebook Friday.

“We have no idea what this poor girl (has) seen in her past, but it (has) definitely traumatized her and made her rehabilitation difficult, but we are moving on,” the post read. He said the volunteers were “trying to teach him to be confident and not to be afraid”. In the video, Gladys was quietly lying next to someone, chewing on a bone.

Broward County Animal Control took Gladys after the attack. The agency did not immediately return an email Friday seeking comment on what will happen with the dog.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

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