Parents call for more strict rules after repeat offender dog attacks child
WARNING: The following article contains graphic photos and details that may be disturbing to some readers.
A family from Central Alberta wants to see more serious consequences for dog owners if their animal bites a human, especially if it happens more than once.
The Kingsfields, from Penhold, AB, let their nine-year-old daughter go on her first camping trip with a family friend. They said it was all their daughter, Andra, could talk about.
On June 5th, Andra was at their campsite near Nordegg, AB when she accidentally dropped her hamburger.
She picked it up and said the family friend started cutting it up to give to the three nearby dogs.
Andra said the family friend told her she could feed the hamburger to the animals, including a large one tethered nearby that appeared to be an Akita.
“I was standing there watching him eat and all of a sudden he just jumped on me and started attacking me,” she recalled. “He grabbed onto my face and pulled me down so I couldn’t get up and run away.”
Andra said she blacked out at that point. She was taken to hospital in Rocky Mountain House. Her parents didn’t know what to expect when they got there.
“Her face was bandaged up on her right side, up here and down here and her blonde hair was bloodied. There was blood on her clothes, blood all over her hands.”
Andra was bruised and scratched and had a gaping hole in her cheek that required 27 stitches to close up.
The dog’s owner, Eugene Friesen, spoke to Global News from Red Deer.
“This incident is extremely unfortunate and all our thoughts are with this young girl. It was a very regrettable incident.”
Friesen said he put the dog down after the attack, but added the girl was kneeling down, trying to hug the Akita when the attack happened.
“We have a young family, a six-year-old boy and a nine-month-old girl and we cannot take the chance of anything similar ever happening in the future.”
But this wasn’t the first time the dog had attacked. Friesen admitted the dog had nipped his son before, but said his son provoked the attack.
After that incident, the dog was taken for two behavioural assessments, which Friesen said it passed. He called this most recent attack “out of character.”
The Kingsfields said Alberta Health Services told them the dog had two previous bites on record – something that doesn’t sit well with Andra’s father, Cory.
“I’m Upset. Really angry. Why wasn’t something done about it the first or the second time? Why was this dog still around for a third time?”
The little girl’s parents want to see more serious consequences following dog attacks.
“I feel like some dogs just have that tendency in them and I don’t really know that going to two classes can take that out of a dog,” said Andra’s mother, Jennifer.
Andra is a dancer and her mom worries she will lose confidence because of the scars on her face.
The family has three pugs, which Andra still plays with despite the trauma of the attack.
She says little dogs don’t worry her, but now, she thinks twice when she sees a larger one.
“Every time I see a big dog it just reminds me of that and I just get really scared so I try to avoid them.”
Her family has started a Go Fund Me to cover some medical expenses.
According to the RCMP, charges are pending against the dog’s owners.Follow @SarahNKraus
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