125-pound pit bull who killed Pam Robb was featured in two online videos
OAKLAND PARK, Florida––Gladys, the supersized star rescue pit bull at the Rescue House One shelter operated by 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida in Oakland Park, Florida, on the morning of February 17, 2022 killed volunteer Pamela W. Robb, 71, of Fort Lauderdale, and seriously injured another volunteer identified by other volunteers on social media as Jan Halas Stenger, 51, of Orange Park.
While Gladys could have been visually identified as a Cane Corso, a pit bull/mastiff mix variant, she was usually called a pit bull or pit mix by 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida personnel before Pam Robb was killed.
(See also Cane Corso: A pit bull by any other name.)
The fatal attack could scarcely have come at a worse time for Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation founder Dahlia Canes.
Canes, after many failed attempts to repeal the Miami-Dade ban on possession of pit bulls, is now stumping for Florida Senate Bill 614, which would repeal breed-specific ordinances throughout the state.
Miami-Dade Animal Services chief of shelter operations and enforcement Kathleen Labrada, meanwhile, has consistently failed to enforce the county pit bull ban as written.
Non-enforcement of the ban to the letter has contributed to at least four fatalities.
Javon Dade Jr., age four, was killed by his father’s pit bull on August 13, 2014.
Carmen Reigada, 91, was killed on September 22, 2015 by a household pack including a pit bull, a Rhodesian ridgeback, and a Labrador mix.
Nyjah Espinosa was killed by her father’s pit bull on December 20, 2015, days short of her second birthday.
Carolyn Varanese, 84, of Margate, was killed on August 31, 2020 by a pit bull released by Miami-Dade Animal Services to Mastiff Rescue of Florida before being rehomed to the victim’s son, Joseph Varanese, 57.
Originally adopted in 1989, the Miami-Dade pit bull ban was upheld by county voters by a 63% to 37% margin in August 2012.
Gladys “suddenly snapped”
Pam Robb, however, was killed in neighboring Broward County.
“The incident happened shortly before 11 a.m.,” reported Laura Rodriguez and Brian Hamacher of NBC News Miami.
Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Claudinne Caro told Rodriguez and Hamacher that Gladys “suddenly snapped and attacked” Pam Robb.
“The second adult female,” Stenger, “tried to aid that first worker and in the process she herself got injured,” Caro said.
Added WPLG Local 10 News anchor/reporter Janine Stanwood and digital journalist Andrea Torres, “Oakland Fire Rescue personnel took the two women to the hospital where a doctor pronounced Robb dead.
“The organization’s Facebook page has videos reporting on Gladys’ progress after a family found the 125-pound dog alone deep in the Everglades, between Alligator Alley and the Miccosukee Service Plaza.”
What Robb loved most was bleeding to death?
Pam Robb, a retired Broward County school teacher, “died doing what she loved most, her partner of 25 years said just hours after the tragedy in Oakland Park,” continued Stanwood and Torres.
“There’s always risk when you work with abused animals and Pam was well aware of it,” partner Angie Anobile told Stanwood and Torres. “I’m sorry it happened to the love of my life, and I’m sorry it happened to someone who could make such a difference in society.”
Austin Carter of CBS Miami reported later on February 17, 2022 that Gladys was taken to Broward Animal Care and euthanized. A brain tissue sample will be tested to determine whether Gladys was rabid.
Two rabid animals, a fox and a raccoon, were found in Broward County in 2021, but no rabies cases in dogs have been confirmed anywhere in Florida since a rabid terrier mix was found alongside the Florida Turnpike near Wellington in February 2012.
Second shelter volunteer killed in under two years
Pam Robb was the first volunteer killed in a Florida animal shelter since Christine Liquori, 52, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, in May 2020.
Liquori bled to death from injuries suffered while she walked or exercised a pit bull alone in a fenced play area beside the older of the two Humane Society of St. Lucie County shelters in Fort Pierce.
(See Why did pit bull & Malinois victims Liquori & Hazel die alone?)
But Pam Robb was at least the twenty-first Floridian in ten years to be mauled by a rescue pit bull, and the fourth to be killed.
The other fatalities were Tanner Kinnamon, 2, of High Springs, whose aunt Jessica Hoffner was a pit bull rescuer, and Carolyn Varanese, 84, of Margate.
At least the second 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida volunteer mauled on the job
Pam Robb was also at least the second 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida volunteer to be mauled on the job.
WSVN television investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero, now retired, on June 16, 2015 detailed how 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida volunteer rescuer Sarah Martin, 19, was mauled by five pit bulls when she and another volunteer were sent to pick up a dog named Taco in Riverview, a Tampa suburb.
Details of that account, which is no longer accessible online, were disputed on July 27, 2015 by the Orlando Pet Examiner, extensively quoting 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida founder Amy Roman, 52, formerly Amy Restucci, and her partner Carol Daniello, 50, along with volunteer Jenn Kate, who was present during the incident and was the senior representative of 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida at the scene.
The accounts by Roman, Daniello, and Kate tended to blame the victim, Sarah Martin, for allegedly entering the property where she was injured without permission.
Hillsborough County dangerous dog hearing officer Autumn George eventually released all of the pit bulls involved in attacking Martin back to their owner.
Roman, identified in 2013 by Susannah Bryan of the Florida Sun-Sentinel as “a former manicurist from Wilton Manors who has made rescue work a full-time job,” started 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida in 2011, soon joined by Daniello.
100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida ran into trouble in 2012 with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services for allegedly collecting donations before becoming a registered charity, and because Roman allegedly charged personal expenses to the nonprofit organization.
Reported Brian Entin and Daniel Cohen for WSVN-7 News in Miami, a Fox affiliate, “The state found 960 debit transactions, including $34,050.99 on food and restaurant expenses; purchases at Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Bath & Body Works; $10,097.74 to pay off a personal credit card; $6,876.83 for car payments; and $4,705.40 on insurance premiums.
“The state says there was also a $30,000 loan from the rescue to buy a BMW registered to its president. According to the investigation, she paid back $20,000 of it.”
In December 2016, updated Tony Pipitone of NBC-6 on May 1, 2017, the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services “proposed imposing a $10,000 fine and repealing the group’s charity status. But the group appealed, claiming all that money [attributed by the state to personal expenses] was spent on charity business.
“After months of negotiations,” Pipitone reported, “the group and the state [in April 2017] signed a settlement agreement that requires payment of a $5,000 fine, as well as modifications in how the group does business.
“The charity must pay for an audit of all its records going back to its incorporation in 2012 and, if discrepancies are found, must amend tax returns. If any of the money spent was not a legitimate business expense, it must be treated as compensation to founder and president Amy Roman, the settlement states.”
Continued Pipitone, “The state questioned what it said was $30,000 in loans provided to the Roman to help her purchase a vehicle. Roman did put $30,000 down on a 2011 BMW X5 luxury SUV in July 2013, according to records subpoenaed by the state. The charity also paid nearly $6,900 in payments for an auto loan on the vehicle, which was titled in Roman’s name and not the charity’s.”
Attorney Jeffrey Neiman, representing 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida, responded to the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Pipitone said, that “the loans for the car from the charity totaled $20,000 – money repaid by Roman by April 2014 – and that the other $10,000 referenced by the state was the amount of a bonus Roman received from the group in 2013, though it was not ratified by the board until February 2014.”
Even before that controversy erupted, WSVN television investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero on October 1, 2013 described several incidents described to her by dog owners in which Roman allegedly trespassed on private property to “rescue” pets she believed were neglected, and/or failed to take dogs found at large with identification to Miami-Dade Animal Services.
Annoula Wylderich says
A tragic death and my condolences to her family. Equally tragic is the fact that we have yet another “rescue” that has allegedly used donations for personal expenses which means those dollars did not go where intended: towards animal care. I wonder how the kindhearted donors feel about that. It’s too easy for anyone to make rescue work their “primary job” without doing service to the animals. We see it every day and it casts a shadow upon all the good rescues out there – the ones who are operating with integrity and have to compete for dollars with all those whose intentions and actions are questionable. Time for regulations and more oversight.
Tracy H says
Are you someone who has followed this wonderful rescue organization for its entire existence or are you cherry-picking facts from the charity’s struggling beginning from old news stories? Would you personally wade into the Everglades to save a starving dog, as they do?Florida is backward in animal welfare like much of the South. These people are doing the dirty work resulting from widespread neglect of animals in Florida. Sadly, no one can read the mind of every dog to know its abusive background Accidents happen even to the kindest and most experienced rescuers.
Beth Clifton says
In one word Tracy, yes! You are correct though that the organization of which you speak has been problematic from its inception. I can go back even farther than that during Sara Pizano’s
tenure at Miami Dade Animal Services.
In this case, it was known to the organization and made public that Gladys was an extremely dangerous dog and that only two of the volunteers could handle her. A video posted to Facebook of Gladys (one of several) showed a fearful, broken dog. The volunteers had convinced themselves that she was making progress. It certainly wasn’t evident in the videos. In one recent video filmed several weeks after she arrived, Gladys was extremely fearful and anxious. If you watched her body language you would see that her tail was glued between her back legs the entire video. This was a 125 pound potentially deadly dog being handled like TNT. And then Gladys did in fact explode and kill Pam Robb who probably weighed less than the dog. It was irresponsible, if not legally culpable to have attempted to rehabilitate that dog. Problem is no one had the guts to
euthanize Gladys even knowing her potential for killing someone.
Very well said Beth Clifton. I have watched it for many years. I have seen the show and the donations.
29k raised for this dog and not one mention of a professional licensed trainer inducted to even for a proper assessment? The dog was said to have been with the rescue since January and finally the ticking time bomb exploded. The videos showed a tense, pacing, stress-panting dog, fearful of every sound, as the volunteer shrieks her name over and over apparently to ease her fears? So many problematic issues here. It’s mind-boggling. The body language was worrisome showing many warnings. I’m stumped as to why she was not placed in a board-and-train situation instead allowed to be handled by volunteers. Who knows if a proper assessment and a training less stimulating environment could have helped? She needed intense rehab and was not afforded that, at least from what I’ve read. Just very very irresponsible, and so much money was made from her being rescued, only to kill and be killed. It’s senseless. Why was she ever put into this dangerous over-stimulating situation? I haven’t seen one mention of a trainer anywhere. If I’m incorrect, please advise. How can a rescue who brings in $1.2 million in donations not have a licensed trainer on staff? Someone is collecting a huge salary and it isn’t a trainer. What a tragic story on all accounts, and Gladys was denied the help she needed. A woman died at the hands of a neglectful rescue. Just my opinion as a rescue owner who
Takes training of fearful animals very seriously.
Volunteers should have never been handling those dog period .
Alvin Seville says
They went into the Everglades to rescue a dog for the money that this dog would generate this rescue. This rescue made 29K on this dog in 30 days. This dog should have never been near that rescue house or that 71 year old volunteer period. That dog, if they truly rescued to save and rehabilitate should have immediately been placed with a professional trainer to be evaluated and worked with. Those volunteers are not educated or trained in working with rescue dogs. This is a huge problem and unfortunately a woman lost her life because of it. That young girl that was mauled years ago was volunteering for a rescue that she believed in and trusted. Amy and her gang went on properties illegally all the time. They never backed this volunteer, took any responsibility and in fact from what I understand bullied her. Your right accidents happen, we cannot read the mind of an animal, but have the proper protocols put in place to avoid situations like this. This was completely avoidable and never should have happened. A life was lost and a dog was destroyed.
Debbie R says
I feel so sad. Sad for Pam, her co-volunteers, her family, and for Gladys. Would Pam want rescues of all dogs continued, including pit bulls? From what I have read, I think she would. I know some very wonderful rescued pitties. What can we learn from this?
Merritt & Beth Clifton says
They’re all wonderful until they’re not. What every pit bull enthusiast should learn from Pam Robb’s death, and the 564 fatal pit bull attacks & more than 5,340 disfiguring maulings by pit bulls that preceded her death in the U.S. alone over the past 40 years, is that no amount of love, patience, & understanding can overcome hardwired genetic traits, & no dog with those traits is ever genuinely safe to unleash on one’s family, other animals, or the public. Pit bull rescue & rehabilitation is basically shooting craps with the lives of others, as well as one’s own life. Certainly, one should be kind to pit bulls, as to all animals, but that kindness should not extend to putting others in jeopardy, and should include never allowing them to breed, which compounds the risk with interest.
Think of all of the other animals who were killed in order to satisfy those four legged ghouls and their owners. The cops are neck deep in legalist issues so it’s no wonder that when laws are enacted to safeguard public safety such as dawg bans , that enforcement falls short of either concern or effort. Whale protection is another such issue it’s merely a victory on paper while enforcement tends toward failure.
Jerry Phillips says
A few days ago in Florida a pit bull killed a woman who volunteered at at local dog rescue. The dog attacked out of nowhere. Another woman was injured trying to save the victim. The dog has been euthanized.
Pit bull nutters have taken to the internet in response to this horrible event. In their minds, there are three victims: the dog and the two women. Guess which victim the pit nutters are mourning…
Beth Clifton says
You are so right! We’re getting comments arguing what type of dog Gladys was. No sympathy for anyone but the damn dog. Dahlia Canes takes to Facebook moaning that people failed Gladys. Not a word about the volunteers in that rant!
This is why this woman was killed. None of those volunteers were qualified to handle a dog like Gladys! None of the volunteers are capable of making rational decisions about the potentially dangerous dogs they rescue.
It was nauseating listening to the president of that rescue talking baby talk to Gladys, calling her mama with reverence. The dog was oblivious to her kindness.
She was anxious and totally focused on her fear. It was only a matter of time until that dog detonated.
Jerry Phillips says
I don’t know how you do it, Beth. I don’t know how you engage these lunatics year after year without losing your mind. It’s clear that they have little to no understanding of dogs and they know nothing at all about what it really means to be human.
My heart breaks for the woman who was killed. She was clearly a good human being. But, like you, I also think that she had no idea of what she was doing.
I’m not blaming the victim. I’m blaming an absurd culture which lives by the principle that dogs are basically fur-covered angels. Sane and rational people begin from the premise that dogs are animals.
How did we ever arrive at this strange place?
I’ve asked you that before. I still don’t understand how there are people out there (most of whom are white women) who worship dogs as perfectly “innocent” child-like spirits. They are caught up in mass delusion. And even when a dog kills, they still see the dog as the primary victim. Huh???
Best Friends Animal Society and their Network plus corporate partners have pit bull lobbyists. These people produce constant propaganda to promote pit bulls and fight breed dogs as angels. They also promote themselves as “”rescue Angels.” They renamed the canyon where the main sanctuary is “Angel Canyon.” That’s how. They must be stopped.
Beth Clifton says
This rescue group as well as many others display a dangerous combination of hero complex, lion tamer syndrome and exhibitionism. They love the attention and pats on the back. Who doesn’t like an occasional pat on the back? We all do, but the difference is that these people are addicted to it, the risk taking, all of it even knowing the grave danger that they place themselves and each other in!