Behavior & evidence suggest Gladys was not just dumped in the Everglades
MICCOSUKEE SERVICE PLAZA, Florida––Was Gladys the Cane Corso or supersized pit bull witness to an earlier human fatality before killing rescue volunteer Pam Robb, 71, on the morning of February 17, 2022?
Gladys mauled Robb and fellow volunteer Jan Halas Stenger, 51, at the Rescue House One shelter operated by 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida in Oakland Park, Florida.
Friends of both victims and fellow volunteers have been vocally questioning the decisions of 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida cofounders Amy Restucci Roman, 52, and her partner Carol Daniello, 50, involving Gladys ever since.
Questioned in particular is that Robb was allowed to work with Gladys, who at about 125 pounds of muscle and jaws was significantly bigger and stronger.
Several current and former 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida volunteers have opined that Gladys should have been farmed out to a professional trainer, in view of her size and evident nervous behavior.
Extensively reviewing all available video of Gladys, more than three and a half hours total, from her capture on the morning of January 18, 2022 until February 14, 2022, four days before Gladys killed Robb and injured Stenger, ANIMALS 24-7 is skeptical that any trainer, even St. Francis of Assisi who famously tamed the wolf of Gubbio, could have turned Gladys into a safe household pet.
But ANIMALS 24-7 suspects 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida and whatever law enforcement agencies were involved in bringing Gladys out of the Everglades overlooked significant behavioral and physical evidence that Gladys survived an otherwise unwitnessed incident in which her previous owner may have died near where Gladys was found at geo location 26.353007,-80.901547.
Gladys sat vigil over the canal
Specifically, Gladys was noticed circa January 15, 2022 by two men who were fishing in the vicinity of a pumping station on Huff Bridge Road, in Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6, adjacent to the Rotenberger Wildlife Management Area.
Gladys was not near the road. Indeed, Gladys could barely be seen from the road by vehicular traffic heading north, and was hidden from traffic heading south by the pumping station facilities.
Instead, Gladys sat vigil on a pile of “rip-rap,” meaning big rocks placed to reinforce the shoreline just outside the chain link fence surrounding the pumping station.
Raw hindquarters & torn footpads
It would be difficult to imagine a location less comfortable for a dog. Yet Gladys was still there when the multi-car convoy from 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida and an animal control officer arrived to retrieve her several days later.
100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida volunteers observed at the scene that Gladys had a raw patch of skin on her hindquarters, believed to be from prolonged time sitting on the rocks.
Also observed was that Gladys’ footpads were in rough condition, as if she had at some point frantically scrambled up the rocks.
Why did Gladys scramble up the rocks?
But the video from the scene indicates that no one questioned why Gladys had scrambled up the rocks, or why she remained there, only a few feet from a drainage canal, but approximately 100 feet from Huff Bridge Road, possibly visible only from the bridge itself and almost certainly unable to see any part of the road.
As there are no houses within miles of the pumping station, the men who found Gladys and the 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida volunteers presumed Gladys had been abandoned by someone, perhaps someone who deliberately drove her out into the middle of the Everglades hoping to permanently lose her.
Not typical dumped dog behavior
Supporting that presumption was that Gladys had never been microchipped and was not wearing a collar.
The notion that Gladys had been driven out into the Everglades and dumped played well with 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida donors and fans on social media.
Yet it failed to account for quite a lot.
To begin with, Gladys’ location out on the rocks was hardly a convenient place for someone to have ditched her, a substantial and hazardous climb away from where anyone could speed away in a car, especially with a Cane Corso or supersized pit bull right behind.
Neither was Gladys’ behavior that of a typical dumped dog.
A dumped dog will normally try to follow the vehicle of the person who dumped her, at least to the edge of the nearest main-traveled road, and then either sit forlornly beside the road, gazing in the direction of the vehicle, or try to find her way home by following the road.
Greyfriars Bobby, Hachiko, & Good Boi
Gladys instead behaved like a dog whose person has abruptly disappeared or died, like the renowned Greyfriars Bobby (1855-1872), or Hachiko (1923-1935), or Good Boi, who waited for four months for his deceased master, one of the first victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, outside the Wuhan Taikang Hospital, before shopkeeper Wu Cuifen persuaded him to come home with her.
The ANIMALS 24-7 files include dozens of similar cases, including many in which the obstinate refusal of a dog to leave the scene of an apparent abandonment caused rescuers to search the area, finding the remains of an owner.
Fearful of noise but found in noisy location?
The 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida volunteers often described Gladys as fearful. Founder Amy Roman herself said on video that Gladys was afraid of the outdoors, of the sounds of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, and even human voices.
Yet Gladys remained on the rock pile for days despite noise from the pumping station so loud that the volunteers could scarcely hear themselves talk.
No doubt the noise was unpleasant for Gladys, but not to the point that she tried to escape from it by walking in either direction along Huff Bridge Road.
Apparently overlooked by everyone, and certainly not mentioned in the many videos and social media postings about Gladys was that she was in good weight, did not appear to have been neglected in any way, and––though a smooth-coated dog––had the clearly visible impression of a wide collar on her neck, along with scars along her brow line as if the collar had been abruptly jerked off, over the front of her head.
Who would––or could––dump a Cane Corso or supersized pit bull by jerking the dog’s collar off over the front of her head, simultaneously inflicting pain and pulling the dog toward the alleged dumper?
That alleged dumper would very likely be severely bitten.
Gladys might have been dragged a short distance by a car, until her collar pulled off over her head. This would account for the injuries to her paws, but if Gladys had been dragged very far, her injuries would be much more severe. The possibility that Gladys was dragged also does not explain why she was found alongside the canal.
Heaved from bridge?
At least two other scenarios come quickly to mind.
One might be that Gladys was tied by her collar to a heavy object and pitched into the drainage canal from the Huff Bridge. In that scenario Gladys freed herself and tore her pads scrambling ashore.
But if that happened, why did Gladys not come ashore up the less steep bank closer to the bridge? And why did Gladys then go to the rocks?
Even if looking for a hiding place, there were many others just as secure that were easier for Gladys to reach.
The other scenario is that Gladys was with someone who slipped, fell, jumped, or was dragged into the drainage canal, a known favorite haunt of alligators.
Whoever it was might have tried to escape by pulling on Gladys’ leash or chain. Gladys might have torn her footpads trying to keep her grip on the rocks. But the collar came off over her head.
More than 300 people have been attacked by alligators in Florida since 1948, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission. At least 39 victims have been killed.
Alligators have often attacked a dog first, injuring or killing a person who attempted a rescue. And sometimes dogs have tried to save their people from alligators.
Alligators stash large prey
An alligator typically stashes large prey amid vegetation and mud along a bank for a few days to rot before completing the meal.
Many well-hidden suspected human victims of alligators have either never been found, or identifiable remains have been found only many years later.
Partly for this reason, 1.5-million-acre Everglades National Park, established in 1947, is second only to 2.2-million-acre Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872, in the numbers of humans who are believed to have disappeared there.
But if Gladys’ person was killed by an alligator, why was there no car abandoned nearby?
Why was no fishing, hiking, or birding equipment found at the scene?
One simple explanation might be that the person was thrown or pushed into the drainage canal by someone else. Or––although the site is relatively far from Alligator Alley, the nearest highway––the victim might have been a homeless hitchhiker or wanderer, whose backpack went into the water with him, or her.
Whatever the case, thoroughly searching the scene, including dragging the nearby part of the drainage canal, might produce answers.
ANIMALS 24-7 has learned that there are recently missing persons who were last seen in Collier County within approximately the right time frame to have possibly been Gladys’ owner.
One, for example, is a 20-year-old homeless man with an extensive criminal record, last seen in Naples, near the western end of Alligator Alley.
Was he traveling with a Cane Corso or a supersized pit bull?
This ANIMALS 24-7 does not know. What we do know is that no one appears to have made a diligent effort either to find Gladys’ owner or to account for her highly anomalous behavior before she killed Jan Robb.
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