Dog Mauled to Death at County Shelter

Friday, July 25, 2014
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A 12-year-old dog named Kitti was mauled to death by two other dogs at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter yesterday after an employee accidentally left a kennel gate open. Kitti, a Boxer/Pit Bull/Terrier mix, had been at the shelter since last June after she attacked and killed another dog, and she was being held in a separate area of the kennel that restricts contact with other animals. Kitti had been designated a “dangerous dog” and was going to be euthanized, but the shelter was awaiting a possible appeal from Kitti’s owners.

“The entire agency is extremely concerned about the incident and is taking immediate steps to review the procedures in place to ensure it cannot happen again,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, head of the county’s Public Health Department. “We take very seriously the need to protect the animals in our care and know that while this was a tragic mistake, it was an unacceptable death of an animal in our care. Once a complete set of facts is known about what precisely occurred, the appropriate personnel actions will be taken, if required. The employee involved recognizes the error and is extremely upset about what took place. We extend deep sorrow to Kitti’s owners. ”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Sounds like the Corcoran SHU.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 5:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yep, a microcosm of human prison culture.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 7:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dog justice

garfish (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 11:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

dog eat dog world, accidentally left open.

spacey (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I feel badly for the owner of the now dead dog. Kittie. The dog was going to be euthanized for having been deemed " potentially dangerous." The owners already were facing the trauma of losing their dog; but it would have been put down humanely.
There better be some heads roll right out the door on this one.
A potentially DANGEROUS dog is to have NO contact with other dogs.

Rude comments have no place on here. This is " news" for those people in dog rescue, and for the county residents.
this is NO accident that NO ONE was around and 2 dogs killed Kittie. ?? Please, ......MIstakes happen, but hello, the owner of a potentially dangerous dog is not allowed to make MORE mistakes. Whoever HAD control of this dog and left it, MUST be FIRED. Head of public works better FIRE the person, and then head of PHealth should resign too.
The LAST place a dog of any sort should be mauled is the shelter.

NOT buying that Story that no one was there? when someone let the dogs out? , someone knew exactly what they were doing. dogs roaming around gates left open? One deemed " dangerous" and just had a hearing regarding its fate? What a pathetic group of morons.

So now Ms. Public works does this make those other 2 dogs " potentially dangerous? " Use caution if you plan to adopt out those 2 dogs.
Fire the jokers who did this to Kittie and to the other dogs who should now be in trouble. This is totally unacceptable; yet people think its a fat joke. And the rude remarks are uncalled for.
I feel bad for the owner of the dog Kittie had an incident with, and now Kittie's owners thinking she would be put down now face the tragic news of being mauled.

Tommi (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2014 at 5:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

'better be some heads roll right out the door', 'pathetic group of morons', 'and the rude remarks are uncalled for'. Dog gate ; who let the dogs out?

spacey (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2014 at 11:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It sucks. It sucks that Kitty killed a dog, that the owner of the dead dog must have been devastated from the loss. It sucks that Kitty was killed in a brutal, horrible way - her owner must be devastated too.

It also sucks that the kennel attendant made a mistake - there have been mistakes like this this before - by staff and volunteers, at this shelter and others near and far. Gates get left open, people are distracted by a request for help from someone else, people don't think about what might have changed when they return after an interruption.

The thing to focus on now is a proper examination of what were ALL the contributing causes and figure out how to prevent a similar accident from happening again. Let the County be transparent on the causes and solutions, and work to make it better.

I'm so sorry for all the people and dogs involved. So sorry.

kiyua (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This was a foul up but not one that requires a human being losing his or her job. Come on Tommi, let's get some perspective. A dog died. In fact a dog with a violent reputation died violently. This is sad for the owners and was no doubt a painful and violent few minutes for the dogs involved. But this is not a human tragedy and we should not turn it into one by separating some person from his or her job. Violent dogs have no place in human society. They are a dangerous risk to human health and safety and a public menace. There was a break down in procedure in this case and the person responsible should be required to get remedial training, but let's not get all carried away and turn this into a human tragedy as well.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2014 at 2:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm reminded of St. Billy.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2014 at 3:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)


"Violent dogs have no place in human society. They are a dangerous risk to human health and safety and a public menace."

The dog was classified as "dangerous", but the only statement in the article was that Kitti attacked and killed another dog. This makes her potentially dangerous to other dogs, but not necessarily humans. And, here is the point: DOGS WILL BE DOGS. I would say that the fault was with the owner, for not having control of their dog--allowing for an accidental off-leash situation to happen--but dog's do what their instincts tell them to do, and shouldn't be punished for it--unless, of course, their instinct is to randomly attack people, and even then I still defend that as instinct, and often what dogs are originally bred to do. [Google the recent attack on a jogger by two loose Cane Corso dogs, and then read about the breed.]

ASIDE: The breed(s) given of Kitti's lineage are "Boxer/Pit Bull/Terrier mix". And, while I usually hesitate to call an unseen dog a "pit bull", I also know that shelters tend to underplay "pit bull" heritage with dogs, so that people don't fear them based on the breed. However, the description here is ridiculous, as a Boxer is a Molosser decendent (like Mastiffs), and so are bulldogs....So, "pit bulls"--more specifically, "American Pit Bull Terriers" are a mix of bulldog and terrier to begin with. Adding "Boxer" and "Terrier mix" is a bit redundant, if the dog is an APBT. It's also likely that Kitti was an American Staffordshire, or an American Bulldog.

The Cane Corsos that attacked the jogger (mentioned above) are also decended of Molossers.

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 7:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm sorry for the rude comments, I guess it's nothing but the dog in me, bow wow wow yipee yo yippee yay.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 8:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

From the photos of the dog Kitti on Edhat, equus_, she looks much more like a boxer. She was 12-years-old and, apparently, had cancer.

Santa Barbara should follow California law on euthanasia rather than the draconian Santa Barbara requirement. Dogs will bite other dogs - and the one this large one bit weighed 3lbs. Having a small dog myself, I am too aware how quite a few large dogs dislike some small dogs. (I won't go into the county dog parks when I see that certain dogs that have gone after my very friendly dog are there.) People take unreasoned dislike of some others but, hopefully, are socialized to prevent action; often dogs are not so socialized and too often the owners are paying no attention.

Eckermann: I politely suggest that you get some perspective. For many dog owners, their pets are their family. That a county _shelter_ should be so poorly run as to allow an old, sick dog to be killed by two others is outrageous. Whether the employee should lose his publicly-funded job is another question; if something similar were to happen in a jail, what would be the appropriate response? The owner of Kitti has written in support of the employee's qualities - dog rescue is a rather small world where the participants and the county employees know each other.

What's important is not this particular employee but that the County facility, for pets what the jail is to humans, should be so lax that this happens, that three dogs will probably lose their lives, Kitti and the two that killed her. As for the employee, there needs to be an intensive review of his his work AND this death.

at_large (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 9:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So equus, I am supposed to accept the risk of being attacked by violent dogs because their tendency toward violence is "instinctual?" Let me just respond politely that I remain unconvinced by your logic. And at-large, I believe your analogy equating the animal shelter to the County Jail shows that you missed my point. The animal shelter contains animals and the jail contains humans. I realize that many dog owners consider their pets "family." However, such an emotional attachment taken to the extreme of putting humans at risk of being bitten by dogs is irrational and perhaps not quite mentally healthy and even slightly sociopathic. Drawing analogies in this case to human society is simply neither logical nor proper. This was not a human tragedy unless some human loses his or her livelihood because of it.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 9:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

i regret reading any signs that there may still be folks walking and talking like they think this in any way justifies the aggressive side of their nature. The world is evolving into a social environment where there's no longer room for this. If you are this type of throw back, remember your time here will come to a close. Meanwhile stay out of the way. Let the rest of us flourish.

jazzifier (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 11:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Very sad..

I would not necessarily fire the employee or even pressure the animal shelter to do so, that should be up to their employer. There is no guarantee a replacement will perform any better and the best person to make that determination is the employer.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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