Pitbull attacks five-year-old girl in Didsbury

Dog's unprovoked actions send child to hospital

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011 06:00 am | By Madison Samuel-Barclay

A recent unprovoked pit bull attack on a young child sparked discussion of enacting a dangerous dog bylaw or policy at a recent Committee of the Whole meeting.

The child, a five-year-old girl, was taken to the Alberta Children’s Hospital for stitches, and may potentially need plastic surgery due to the scalp injuries.

The Dec. 3 attack occurred in a residence on 20th Avenue in Didsbury. The four-year-old pit bull had been placed in a room with the door shut initially.

However, RCMP said someone opened the door, not realizing that the dog was in the room. The dog ran for the girl without provocation, according to the RCMP.

Witnesses at the scene called the RCMP to report the incident at around 1:40 p.m.

The dog has been transported to the Calgary Humane Society for quarantine and is being monitored for rabies.

“The owners of the dog have been co-operative and will be seeking destruction of the dog,” said Sgt. Jeff Jacobson.

Following the rabies monitoring, RCMP said the dog will be destroyed. RCMP and local peace officers are continuing to investigate the incident.

In response to this and recalling previous dog incidents, on Dec. 6 Committee of the Whole members discussed ways of avoiding such situations through a dangerous dog policy or bylaw.

“A dangerous dog in the policy should be defined based on incidences concerning it, not its breed,” said councillor Lavar Adams. “In reality, dogs bite, all dogs can bite.”

However, dealing with specific reported dogs did little in terms of being pre-emptive, according to Mayor Brian Wittal.

“The point of the policy is to do something pre-emptive, before these incidents happen,” said Wittal. “But to do that, it may mean picking and choosing which dogs are considered ‘dangerous’ by breed, and that’s not what we want to do.”

Didsbury has seen previous dog incidents with breeds that were not pit bulls. The most recent reported attacks in the recent past have been unprovoked bites by a Jack Russel terrier and a akita.

- With files from Jennifer Isaac


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