FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — 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 at 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 Anobile, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that Robb has been working with the mixed-breed dog named Gladys at the shelter since the dog arrived 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.
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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 get him into a car to cheers.
The shelter then posted periodic video updates on Gladys, recently saying her progress was “slow and steady”.
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“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 said. 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.
The Broward County Animal Control Agency took Gladys away after the attack. The agency did not immediately return an email Friday seeking comment on what would happen with the dog.
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The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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