Austin Animal Center worker hospitalized after dog bite

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Animal Center employee went to the hospital over the weekend with serious injuries from a dog bite, according to Austin-Travis County EMS and the Austin Animal Center.

The animal center said the dog was being removed from its kennel when the attack happened.

The dog, named Snowball, was euthanized on Saturday, according to the animal center. The animal had been at AAFC since September after its owner had it delivered.

READ: Reports surface of aggressive dogs adopted at Austin Animal Center

Jennifer Olohan, Austin Animal Center program manager and media and communications specialist, said Snowball recorded several incidents.

Olohan said a few weeks prior that the dog had bitten someone, which resulted in non-serious injuries. Additionally, she said Snowball had another incident called “redirection,” which is when an animal goes after someone after being triggered by a separate source.

Olohan said it is within the shelter’s right to make the decision to euthanize if the bite is serious or if the dog could be considered dangerous.

Another AAC employee told KXAN that the woman was discharged from the hospital on Monday and the center was operating with normal staff on the day of the attack.

ATCEMS was called to the scene around 11 a.m. Saturday. A woman in her 30s was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center, ATCEMS said.

Aggressive dogs at AAC

In September, we received several reports of aggressive dogs being adopted from the Austin Animal Center.

At the time, the shelter told us that each dog had a detailed profile. Staff record the animal’s interactions throughout its stay at the shelter.

If a dog arrives with previous reports of aggression toward other dogs or people, staff are trained to ask for more details about their behavior.

The AAC said all grades are given to adopters. If there are concerns about aggression, that dog is flagged for consultation with behavioral staff members.

Benjamin M. Yerger