OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Thursday a worker at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter was mauled by a dog while working and sent to the hospital. The shelter held a presser Friday and announced the details of the incident along with the fact that starting August 13th they will not be open on Mondays and Sundays due to staffing shortages and workers working overtime.
“We really have struggled to get some staffing for a while and are having to make some changes,” said Superintendent of the shelter Jonathan Gary at a Friday presser.
The worker was a woman who isn’t named just yet but has worked at the shelter for years. Gary said that the dog was a Cane Corso and it was put in separately from the other dogs due to it being dangerous.
“He was here on dangerous charges or the owners had been charged with harboring a dangerous dog,” said Gary.
The dog at some point broke out of the kennel it was in and mauled the worker. Gary said that she received several serious injuries and was left in the kennel room for a bit before other workers noticed her.
Gary Knight of Oklahoma City Police said that’s when they were called along with an ambulance and the worker was rushed to the hospital. The worker, Gary said received serious injuries and was lucky to be alive.
“Our shelter workers are trained for these types of events, this type of situation was just very unfortunate,” said Gary.
The dog was then placed in a different kennel where Gary said he wouldn’t get out.
The presser then switched to an announcement that the shelter has to stop its normal schedule and close for two days for quite some time.
“Effective August 13th we will be closing on Sundays and Mondays,” announced Gary. “All of our guys have been working 50 hours a week for quite some time now. For their well-being and for the well-being of our animals, we are doing something to get them on a normal schedule.”
Gary could not specify how long the closure would last but said that it is needed.
It has been a tumultuous and difficult year for the shelter. Twice in 2023, the shelter has had to close its doors due to Canine Flu spreading.
“Since the pandemic basically we have been struggling,” said Gary.
KFOR has put in a records request for surveillance footage of the incident.
MAPS 4 planning details the building of a new Oklahoma City Animal Shelter near the current location but the project doesn’t plan to have it open to the public until 2026.