Dog euthanized after mauling woman to death at Florida animal shelter

Authorities have euthanized a large dog that fatally mauled a longtime volunteer at a Florida animal shelter who was trying to help it acclimate to humans after it was found in the Everglades.

Pam Robb, a 71-year-old retired high school teacher, died in Thursday's attack at the 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida shelter in Oakland Park, near Fort Lauderdale, officials said. A second woman who tried to intervene suffered minor injuries.

Robb's wife, Angie Anobile, told WSVN that Robb had been working with the female mixed-breed dog the shelter named Gladys since the dog arrived about a month ago. She said the dog pulled Robb to the ground by the arm and attacked her.

"She truly had passion and walked on this earth with love for everybody and everything, but especially animals," Anobile told the station. "I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this just yet."

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She told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that Robb had been gushing recently about the progress Gladys was making. The dog weighs more than 100 pounds.

Robb "was one of the few that the dog resonated with," Anobile told the newspaper. "She was just starting to build trust with the dog. Her greatest joy was having these dogs respond to human contact, and I don’t blame anybody. It was a tragic accident, but I do blame people who abuse animals, who don’t love them like they should be loved."

Anobile said Robb always wanted to give animals a second chance.

"I don’t think you can erase a dog’s memory once it is neglected and abused, but knowing that she was there with them and made a difference, it’s an unfortunate tragedy, but that was her love and passion," she told WSVN.

The shelter posted on Facebook that the staff is grieving and asked for privacy.

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In a Jan. 18 Facebook post, the shelter showed Gladys' rescue. The dog was sitting on a canal bank in an empty field and had been there for at least three days, the video says. The rescuers threw chicken to the dog until they were able to coax her into a car to applause.

Animal control workers removing the dog from the facility after the deadly attack on Thursday. (Courtesy: WSVN)

The shelter then posted periodic video updates on Gladys, recently saying her progress was "slow and steady."

"We have no idea what this poor girl (has) seen in her past but it (has) definitely traumatized her and made her rehab difficult, but we are pressing on," the post said. It said volunteers were "trying to teach her to be confident, and not to be afraid." In the video, Gladys was sedately lying next to someone, chewing on a bone.

The dog was transported to Broward County Animal Care after the attack and has since been euthanized, according to WSVN. Authorities collected a blood sample to test for rabies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.