Pit Bull Attacks 4 People at Humane Society, Fatally Shot by Police

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

A Pit Bull-mix, which was being held in quarantine after it bit someone, attacked four staff members at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Menands, NY, on Thursday, sending them to the hospital, according to a shelter official.  Police then fatally shot the dog, The Times Union reports.

The incident occurred just before 3 p.m., shortly after a veterinarian and a staff member had given the dog a rabies shot, according to Executive Director Brad Shear, who assured reporters that the dog had been muzzled for safety during the procedure.

Shear said that three of the victims were injured when they came to the aid of the first staff member, who was bitten after removing the muzzle. Two of the victims were taken for treatment at Albany Medical Center Hospital, and they were released Thursday evening,

Tina Murray, Director of Operations at the Humane Society recalled how the Pit Bull attacked the first employee:

"The dog grabbed her leg, she got bit in her arm and then the dog went on to the people trying to help her. The dog subsequently bit them as well," she told Albany TWCNews.

Two victims were still being evaluated, Shear said. The extent of their injuries was not disclosed. He told the Times Union that the most seriously injured staffer is an experienced former animal control officer.

The veterinarian was not among those hurt, he said.

Shear said the Pit Bull had been brought to the facility by an animal control officer for a bite quarantine — typically a 10-day hold after a dog has bitten someone, during which it is watched for signs of rabies and/or aggression.

Menands police were not available to provide details about the attack, but Shear stated that somehow the dog found its way outside, where responding police officers shot it, the Times Union reports.

Shear said the shelter will fully investigate the chain of events that led up to the attack. He commented that this incident was surprising because of the strict safety protocols at the shelter.

"It's really unusual…thank goodness it probably only happens a few times in one’s career that we have a situation where it's difficult to read a dog or cat," said Veterinarian Lexi Becker, at the Animal Hospital in Slingerlands.

Veterinarian Becker told TWC News, “No matter how familiar you are with an animal, it is hard to predict how they will act under stressful situations.”

Sources: TWC News, Times Union