June 3, 2014 7:23 am
Updated: June 3, 2014 9:47 am

Dog seized after biting 8-year-old girl

CALGARY – The owner of a French Bulldog-Lab cross has been charged after his dog bit an 8-year-old girl on Friday.

The child was playing in the front yard of an apartment complex in Temple with three friends.

“I was cleaning my car and I had my dog tied to a tree, and I gave her one of those meaty bones to eat,” says dog owner Brendan Halge. “They were all sitting around her and petting her and whatnot. I told them all to go and let her be while she eats her bone.”

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Moments later, Halge says he heard a bark and a scream.

“The was blood everywhere,” says the victim’s aunt, Mandeep Kang. “The dog apparently attacked her on her face. She tore half of her lip from top to bottom.”

The girl was rushed to the Children’s Hospital to undergo emergency surgery, and was treated for a single bite to the face.

She remains in hospital.

The dog, named Athena, has been taken into custody by Animal and Bylaw Services. She will remain in quarantine for 11 days before undergoing a behavioral assessment.

“People don’t know their own animals,” said Doug Anderson, operations coordinator at Animal and Bylaw Services. “They need to understand their animals, know what they are capable of. If you have an animal out, and you’re going to be giving it chew toys, that type of thing, you probably shouldn’t allow children in the area to be around them.”

Athena has no previous record of aggression.

“She’s never been aggressive, she’s never growled,” says Halge. “They ride her and lay on her, and tug her ears. She’s got a lot of patience for three little girls that bug her non-stop.”

“It’s obviously the children over my dog,” adds Halge. “I mean I love her to death, and the girls love her too.”

The owner and the victim’s family are all friends, and are cooperating.

“He’s a very nice neighbour,” says Kang. “Probably my niece was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Kang adds that the young girl was concerned for the well-being of the dog, even after the attack.

“My niece said, when the peace officer came, ‘please don’t send the dog to jail, just teach him.’”

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