Seven-year-old Manitoba girl dead after dogs attack

A Manitoba community is mourning the death of a “bright and inquisitive” seven-year-old girl who was mauled by two dogs at a rural home.

WINNIPEG — A Manitoba community is mourning the death of a “bright and inquisitive” seven-year-old girl who was mauled by two dogs at a rural home.

RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel said officers responded to a call Sunday in the Rural Municipality of Springfield. The girl was rushed to a Winnipeg hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The girl, who was from the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews just north of Winnipeg, was visiting family friends at the time of the attack, Seel said.

“Two Alaskan malemute dogs were seized and are being held by RM of Springfield animal control while the investigation continues,” she said Monday. “It should be noted that the dogs were known to the deceased. This was not a random attack.”

The girl’s name and exact cause of death were not being released, Seel said. It’s not clear what prompted the attack, she added.

The girl was being supervised by an adult but it doesn’t appear anyone witnessed the mauling, Seel said.

“This is just a tragedy all around and you never like to hear about this type of thing. You feel for everyone involved.”

Charges are not being ruled out.

“We’re still in the thick of the investigation,” Seel said.

Scott Kwasnitza, superintendent of the Lord Selkirk School Division, said teachers and students were struggling to come to terms with the Grade 2 student’s death.

“They’re devastated. It’s not something that happens in a school setting very often,” he said. “She was a bright inquisitive girl who was full of life. It just makes this more tragic because of that.”

Grief counsellors were on hand and will be throughout the week as the 450 students at St. Andrews School absorb what happened, Kwasnitza said.

Dick Vlaming, fire chief for the RM of Springfield, said the fire service didn’t get called in on Sunday, but one of his volunteers was driving home when he noticed a commotion on the rural property.

He stopped to see if he could help, but by then it was too late, Vlaming said. The girl had already been transported to hospital and the RCMP were on the scene.

The community is shaken, Vlaming said.

“It’s terrible. It’s something you don’t wish on anybody. It’s terrible for the family and for the people that responded,” he said. “We just feel for the family. That’s something nobody wants to go through or should go through.”

On its Facebook page, Rural Animal Management Services said it wouldn’t release any information.

“There will be no press release or casual discussion from us surrounding today’s tragic events,” stated a post from Sunday evening. “Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by this terrible incident.”

Bill McDonald, CEO of the Winnipeg Humane Society, said malemutes are traditionally sled dogs that can weigh anywhere between 36 and 45 kilograms. They are generally known as a friendly breed, but he said there have been cases where malemutes have fatally attacked children before.

The challenge for police will be to figure out what set the dogs off in this case, McDonald suggested.

“Any large dog — be it a collie or a golden retriever — and young people, they have to be monitored,” he said. “When you’ve got a seven-year-old and probably in the range of 150 to 200 pounds of dog that’s mad, these are the tragic results.”

Just Posted

Physicians urge Ottawa to pay another $21B over decade for seniors health care

OTTAWA — Physicians are calling on the federal government to shell out… Continue reading

‘I didn’t want to do something frivolous’: Sting’s play to make Toronto debut

TORONTO — Drawing Canadian theatregoers to a politically charged musical about an… Continue reading

Japan, EU sign trade deal to eliminate nearly all tariffs

TOKYO — The European Union and Japan signed a landmark deal on… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports manufacturing sales up 1.4 per cent in May

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales increased 1.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Former Mountie who fired Taser at Robert Dziekanski drops appeal of sentence

VANCOUVER — The former RCMP constable who fired a Taser at a… Continue reading

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Trimming and tidying: Perennials need care too

The great attraction in growing perennial flowers is that you never have… Continue reading

Johnny Depp settles lawsuits involving former managers

LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has settled lawsuits with his former business… Continue reading

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month