Carol Harris devoted much of her time to rescuing Akitas.
Harris, a 69-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona, was a member of “Akita Advocates.” It’s a dog rescue group with a mission to “end the euthanasia of manageable, treatable and healthy Akitas through education, solid placements, and careful screening of each prospective home,” according to its Facebook page.
And on Wednesday, Harris was trying to socialize a 6-year-old Akita male at the Canine Country Club and Feline Inn, a local kennel where “Akita Advocates” rented out space, Fox6 reported.
The dog was an orphan, and Harris hoped to make him ready for adoption, AZCentral reported.
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But by 2:45 p.m. that day, the dog was seen dripping with blood and off his leash.
“The dog appeared to be covered in what appeared to be blood, ... and (an employee at the Inn) then discovered the woman,” Jose Santiago, from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, told Fox 6.
A worker subdued the dog, and Harris was rushed to a hospital, where she later died.
“She is missed by her husband, Ken, and all of us at AARTA,” read a YouCaring account created to help cover the expenses for her funeral. “Please say a prayer for Carol’s family. Out of respect for Carol and her family please understand that we cannot answer questions at this time. If you would like to donate to Carol's family's expenses, we appreciate it.”
“Carol was a great lady who worked selflessly to help these dogs,” wrote one person. “My sincerest sympathy to her family and the rescue community. Carol helped me meet and adopt a great canine friend and she will be deeply missed.”
“Praying for her family and your rescue,” another wrote. “I knew Carol from volunteering with another rescue. She was always kind and very devoted.”
Greg Donahue, who owns the Country Club and Feline Inn, called the incident “tragic” — but hopes that the incident won’t affect his work with local rescue groups.
“We have a large facility and when they're trying to find homes for their dogs we give them a greatly reduced price so they can do that, so they can make their dollars go as far as they can,” he told NBC2. “I don’t have an answer, they do great work. Hundreds of dogs are adopted out of here every year and I would hate to see that end.”
An animal control spokesperson said the dog will euthanized and tested for rabies.