SPCA worker recovering after dog attack in shelter

The dog was brought in by its owner earlier this month

FRESNO, Calif. - A Central California SPCA worker was rushed to the hospital Tuesday morning when one of the dogs she was working with mauled her face. Staff at the shelter described the incident as 'shocking.'

Walter Salvari, spokesman for the CCSPCA, couldn't give too many details of the attack due to privacy laws. He did say the dog was brought in by their former owner earlier this month and the victim had been working for the shelter for the past several months.

"It's something that we don't really see here normally at the SPCA," Salvari said.

All staff are trained before coming into contact with any animals, according to Salvari. Especially in catching red flags with animals.

"Basically see the signs: the ears, the teeth, what to know before they actually deal with the animal," he said. "We [re-train] every two to three months to make sure that they don't forget."

Around 60 to 70 animals are brought to the SPCA daily, ranging from strays to animals being surrendered by their owners. Previously owned animals usually don't have an extensive background for workers to go off of.

That said, it can make it difficult to predict an animals' personality day-to-day.

"In this situation, that's what happened," Salvari said. "One dog gets surprised, or it just changes. This situation should not have occurred but it did."

Staff will be having a re-training very soon in light of what happened. There will be no changes made to any protocol at the shelter.

We don't know the dog's fate at this time, but in similar situations the dog has been put down.

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