Toddler healing after dog attack

A three-year-old girl was rushed to hospital and received 22 stitches to her face

  • Mar. 2, 2016 8:00 p.m.

Robert Barron Citizen

A three-year-old girl was rushed to hospital and received 22 stitches to her face after she was attacked by a dog last week on the Malahat First Nation reserve.

Angela, the girl’s mother who asked that her last name not be used, said she and her daughter Samantha were visiting a home in the community where the dog, a German shepherd, lived.

She said Samantha and some of the other children were playing together in the front yard when the dog began biting her child on the face.

“The dog had been playing with some of the other children, so we thought it was okay,” Angela said.

“There was blood everywhere so we immediately rushed Samantha to Victoria General Hospital.”

Angela said most of the bites were to Samantha’s cheeks and inside her mouth.

Fortunately, the bite didn’t cause any apparent damage to her eyes, despite coming very close.

“She’s getting better, but we’ll have to wait and see what other operations and procedures she might have to go through down the road.”

Angela said the dog’s owner has apologized for the attack, but she and her family want the dog euthanized or, at the very least, taken out of the community and away from children.

A statement from the Malahat First Nation called the attack “regrettable and isolated” and said the dog’s owner has taken “immediate steps” to remove the dog from his home.

“The nation and dog owner have reached out to the SPCA and the RCMP in order to help guide the nation on a policy and law that will govern this type of event,” the statement said.

“The Malahat chief, council and administration are committed to providing a safe and healthy community and addressing concerns immediately when they arise.”

Sandy Trent, manager of the Cowichan & District SPCA, said the SPCA has no authority in these types of situations.

“The First Nation has its own people and bylaws to deal with these issues,” Trent said.

“The only jurisdiction that we have there is with cases involving cruelty to animals.”