A staff member was mauled by a dog at the NWT SPCA in Yellowknife on Saturday.

The woman was saved from further injury by a construction worker who was on his way to work. He said he had pulled into the parking lot of the animal shelter to have a quick look at the dogs.

"I saw what looked like someone playing with a dog in the kennel," Michael Barkhouse said.

He got a little closer.

"I heard a person screaming for help… I will never forget that sound."

Barkhouse immediately called a co-worker to get an ambulance to the scene. Barkhouse is from Nova Scotia, and is in Yellowknife for the construction season.

He then entered the kennel to pull the animal off of the woman.

"I had to use force to remove the dog, to stop the dog from doing what it was doing," Barkhouse said. "It was a large dog, some breed of a husky.

"Out of respect for the family, I don't want to elaborate on what I encountered."

A day off work to 'reset'

Barkhouse said the woman was in a state of shock when the ambulance arrived. He is also shaken from the incident.

"I think about it a lot. I did take one day off of work to just reset, and take it in," Barkhouse said.

"My concern now is not with me, I would like to make sure the person is OK, the person is going to be all right. It is on my mind all the time."

The NWT SPCA confirmed to CBC News in an email that an incident did occur at the shelter with a rescued animal, but declined to provide further details out of respect for the privacy of the staff member.

The condition of the staff member is unknown to CBC News at this time.

The Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission is investigating the incident.

With files from Rignam Wangkhang