Neighbours say dog that mauled 16-day-old Saanich girl had a violent history

WATCH: A dog mauled a newborn baby in a Vancouver Island family home over the weekend. The baby is recovering in hospital and the dog has been put down. But Jeremy Hunka explains why some say warning signs were ignored.

A dog in Saanich has been put down after it mauled the family’s 16-day-old girl in the early hours Sunday.

The dog was a 17-year-old Pitbull/Rottweiler cross that was later euthanized.

The baby has fairly significant lacerations according to Saanich Police, but is in hospital and expected to make a full recovery.

Sgt. Steve Eassie of Saanich Police says they are looking into possible charges of criminal negligence.

“What we’re trying to determine is whether these people acted with neglect or whether there was any carelessness on their part,” he said.

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Plenty of warning signs

A day after the tragedy, neighbours say there were plenty of warning signs.

One neighbour who chose to stay anonymous told Global News that the police, local pound and the owners “knew what that dog was capable of.”

“There is no reason that that baby should have been anywhere near that dog.”

Others who chose not to speak on camera told Global News that the dog had a violent history.

Police shared similar concerns, designating the dog dangerous after three separate incidents with other animals. The dog was required to wear a muzzle and leash when off the property and kept in a padlocked pen.

Police say the home is known for other reasons as a resident was once convicted of drug possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Penny Stone of the Victoria Humane Society says the tragedy serves as a warning to dog owners everywhere.

“People should never be leaving infants alone with dogs at any time, whether it’s your family dog or whether it’s a dog you’ve trusted for years,” she says. “So much can go wrong so quickly. But the reality is it isn’t about the breed of the dog here. It’s about proper dog ownership. It’s about making sure your dog is safe and your children are safe.”

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