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. ”