Fort Pierce, FL – A volunteer at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County’s Fort Pierce shelter was found mauled to death by a rescue dog.
The incident occurred in the early afternoon on May 9 when Christine Liquori stopped by the animal shelter to volunteer to walk some dogs, WPTV reported.
Another volunteer told police she saw the 52-year-old Liquori looking for a dog to walk at about 12:15 p.m., Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.
When volunteer Dale Mutchler arrived shortly after 2 p.m. to take a turn dog walking, he noticed that Amos the pit bull’s kennel was empty and went looking for him.
He found Liquori face down in the yard near the fence, and saw Amos nearby with blood all over his face.
Mutchler checked Liquori for a pulse but said he did not find one.
He said he cautiously put Amos on a leash and walked him back to his crate, and then asked someone in the shelter to call for help, Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.
Humane Society Executive Director David Robertson went outside and saw Liquori on the ground, and then he called 911.
Fort Pierce police released the audio of that 911 call on May 15.
“We found a lady lying in our yard,” Robertson told the dispatcher.
“Is she awake?” the dispatcher asked.
“No,” he replied.
“Is she breathing?” the dispatcher asked.
“Uh no, I don’t believe she is,” Robertson said.
“Do you know how long she’s been out there for? You have no idea?” the dispatcher asked.
“I don’t know. No,” he replied.
“Ok,” the dispatcher said.
“Do you want to try CPR? I can give you instructions,” the dispatcher offered.
“No. She’s um… she’s mutilated. And she’s dead. She also has a severe laceration on her right arm,” Robertson explained to the 911 operator.
Liquori’s death was ruled accidental due to the severe loss of blood from dog bites, according to WPEC.
Police said she was alone when she was attacked.
The dog that attacked her was euthanized the next day.
Robertson said Amos had been brought to the shelter on April 15 after somebody found him roaming the streets, WPTV reported.
He said the dog had never showed any signs of aggression before it killed Liquori.
“We’ve lost a dear friend here, and the dogs have lost a dear, dear friend,” Robertson said, according to WPEC. “Just a heart of gold for these dogs.”
Liquori was a volunteer at the shelter and had worked the last three years with a group called Paws Fur Recovery, an organization made of recovering addicts who work with the dogs that are the most problematic, according to WPEC.
Lori Boettger, Paws Fur Recovery founder, told Treasure Coast Newspapers that she is still committed to supporting the Fort Pierce facility despite Liquori’s death.
“We love the Fort Pierce dogs. That shelter does not have enough volunteers,” Boettger said, according to the Treasure Coast Newspapers. “That place will always have a special place in my heart.”
Other volunteers at the animal shelter said that Liquori loved working with the animals.
“No matter how many times she came here, she was just as excited,” Paws Fur Recovery member Jen Capano told WPEC. “This was her thing, like, she loved all beings, but especially these broken dogs.”
Boettger and Capano both said Liquori would not have wanted her death to prevent other people from volunteering at the shelter.
Robertson said that the shelter is reviewing all its safety protocols in the wake of Liquori’s death, Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.
He said they were particularly examining the dog-walking protocols for volunteers.