A worker with the Kings County SPCA was in hospital Wednesday after being attacked and bitten by a large dog at the organization's animal shelter in Waterville, N.S.

RCMP were called to the shelter at about 7 p.m. Tuesday and a 25-year-old woman was taken to Valley Regional Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, RCMP Cpl. Dal Hutchinson said an email.

He said SPCA staff and RCMP were able to locate the dog and it was turned over to animal control.

Sandra Fleming, SPCA provincial director of animal care, said the worker is receiving treatment for injuries to her forearm. Fleming called the attack "unprovoked" and said it happened when staff were preparing to take the dogs out on their final walk for the night.

"The staff member took that particular dog out back. At that time there, at some point, he attacked her arm and wouldn't let go. She yelled for help and thankfully one of our other staff members heard her," said Fleming.

"They were able to get the dog off of her, but during that period of time the dog did get loose and then RCMP were called."

Police and SPCA enforcement officers were able to track the dog down and bring him back to the shelter.

Nova Scotia SPCA workers

Nova Scotia SPCA workers are shown caring for a dog. The organization said an unprovoked attack can make an animal 'unadoptable.' (CBC)

Following the incident, the large, mixed-breed dog was deemed "unadoptable" and humanely euthanized, she said.

The Nova Scotia Department of Labour was also notified about the attack, Hutchinson said.

The dog had been surrendered by his owners, Fleming said, and at the time it was indicated that it was friendly.

The dog had been in care at the shelter for two weeks, and the injured staff member had been around it "many times up to this point" with no issues, Fleming said.

Nova Scotia's six SPCA shelters deal with around 6,000 animals a year and Fleming said safety is a priority.

"The reality is in a shelter environment you're dealing with animals and animals can at times be unpredictable," said Fleming.