NEW MINAS, N.S. - A dog was taken to a veterinarian and put down Oct. 17 after a worker suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries during an attack at the Kings County SPCA shelter in Waterville.
“In 10 years working for the society, this would be the most significant incident I’ve seen,” Sandra Flemming, SPCA provincial director of animal care, said Wednesday morning.
“It’s not a common incident.”
Flemming said Waterville staff were taking the dogs out for their last walk of the evening around 7 p.m., before the shelter closed for the night, when a dog attacked one of the workers out of the blue, causing serious injuries to her arm.
RCMP from Kingston and New Minas were called and helped animal control officers capture the dog. Police said the worker, a 25-year-old woman, was taken to Valley regional hospital and then sent by LifeFlight helicopter to the QEII in Halifax.
“For a dog to escalate that quickly and to that extent is not something we’ve seen before, and that’s why we chose to humanely euthanize it last night,” Flemming said.
The worker, who Flemming described as a very experienced animal handler, is recovering in hospital and is doing OK.
“She’s a trooper,” said Flemming.
It’s not clear exactly what happened. RCMP had no details on Wednesday morning, but police said the Nova Scotia Department of Labour had been advised of the incident.
Flemming said SPCA staff are still trying to determine what happened.
“We’re still trying to piece that together this morning,” she said. “There was no indication when the dog was surrendered to us that it had any aggressive issues.
“We’re not sure why the dog reacted that way. We are still in the process of interviewing staff and having discussions, but it just was a very serious incident that appears to be unprovoked.”
She would not identify the breed of dog, but Flemming said it had been surrendered to the shelter by the owner about two weeks ago.
It appeared to be friendly, and was being assessed for adoption, she said