WINNIPEG – With heavy hearts, more than one hundred friends and family members gathered at a church for Gracie Herntier-Clark’s funeral, Saturday.
“I just hope the best for the family, for everyone at this time, it’s a horrible thing to happen, especially to a child,” said family friend, Michael Mraovic.
Mraovic is best friends with Gracie’s biological father, Brian Clark.
“I feel for the guy, he’s a really good buddy of mine and he just loves his daughter,” said Mraovic.
Gracie was visiting family friends on Sunday near Oakbank when the friend’s two Alaskan malamutes attacked and killed her. The RM of Springfield euthanized the dogs on Thursday.
“Once they’ve had human blood they should be terminated, there should be no questions about it, it should be automatic,” said mourner, Jason Vledder.
Vledder’s son, Adam, was also attacked by two dogs when he was seven years old, the same age as Gracie.
“Once I heard what was going on it brought all of the memories back because I came out and found him being attacked,” said Vledder.
Adam survived the vicious attack by the two Saint Bernard German Sheppard dogs that left him in hospital for months, but it’s something Jason can never let go of.
“It was a mauling, it was horrible, something you don’t wish on anybody’s kids, or on anybody period,” he said.
Gracie knew the dogs and her obituary said she loved all animals, especially her three dogs.
Police haven’t ruled out laying charges, like negligence, against the dogs’ owners, but it could take months for the criminal investigation into her death to come to an end.
For now, the family is staying strong.
“It’s a strong family right and that’s what you need at this time,” said Mraovic.