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

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Alberta’s declining COVID-19 numbers are a positive sign for the province. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer down to 634 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone down to 2,054 active cases

Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Rylan Thiessen (26) guards the front of the net as goalie Connor Unger makes a save on Winnipeg Ice forward Skyler Bruce during a Western Hockey League game on April 14 at the Brandt Centre in Regina. Brandon won 5-3. (Keith Hershmiller Photography)
Two big trades provide stability for Red Deer Rebels

All Connor Ungar wanted was an opportunity and he’s finally found it.… Continue reading

(Screenshot).
Seven central Alberta charities benefit from community foundation grants

Seven central Alberta charities have received grants from the Red Deer and… Continue reading

Red Deer Gun Show organizer, Harold Drok, is concerned $1 fee from each ticket sale will go to Westerner Park once shows can be restarted there. This new policy replaces parking fees which will be waived for future Westerner Park events. (Black Press file photo)
Event organizer concerned about Westerner Park’s new parking fee model

A show organizer is concerned this could impact proceeds

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Organizers of central Alberta anti-lockdown rodeo plead not guilty

Ty and Gail Northcott charged under the Public Health Act

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Canadian Academy and other organizations champion Cancon through various campaigns

Canadian Academy and other organizations champion Cancon through various campaigns

FILE - Actor/comedian Charles Grodin, appears at a news conference announcing him as host of CNBC's new primetime show "Charles Grodin" in New York on Nov. 15, 1994. Grodin, the offbeat actor and writer who scored as a newlywed cad in “The Heartbreak Kid” and the father in the “Beethoven” comedies, died Tuesday at his home in Wilton, Conn. from bone marrow cancer. He was 86. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)
Charles Grodin, ‘Midnight Run,’ ‘Heartbreak Kid,’ star, dies

Charles Grodin, ‘Midnight Run,’ ‘Heartbreak Kid,’ star, dies

Sarah Polley, Jayne Eastwood among winners on night 2 of Canadian Screen Awards

Sarah Polley, Jayne Eastwood among winners on night 2 of Canadian Screen Awards

This image shows an assortment of gift options for dinner hosts, from left, Clark and Hopkins hot sauces, a Finamill spice grinder, sculptural candles from Greentree Home Candles, a Mosser Cake Stand topped with folded linen runners and a loaf of bread from Zingerman's, and a variety of Frank Lloyd Wright candles from the Art Institute of Chicago. (Cheyenne Cohen via AP)
Gathering again? Gifts to wow and thank your host

Gathering again? Gifts to wow and thank your host

FILE - This microscope image made available by the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research in 2015 shows human colon cancer cells with the nuclei stained red. Americans should start getting screened for colon cancer earlier, at age 45 instead of waiting until they're 50, according to new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, released on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. (NCI Center for Cancer Research via AP, File)
Americans urged to get colon cancer screening earlier

Americans urged to get colon cancer screening earlier

Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin appears before Judge Mark E. Windham who denied an emergency motion by the defense team seeking to postpone the trial today. during the murder trial of Robert Durst Monday, May 17, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. The murder trial of the multimillionaire has resumed in Los Angeles County after a 14-month recess without the defendant present and with arguments about whether the case should continue at all. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)
Prosecutor says Durst’s own words show his guilt in killings

Prosecutor says Durst’s own words show his guilt in killings

FILE - In this April 16, 2020, file photo, the Amazon logo is displayed in Douai, northern France. Amazon said Tuesday, May 18, 2021, that it will continue to ban police use of its face-recognition technology beyond the one-year ban it announced last year.  (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)
Amazon to extend pause on police use of facial recognition

Amazon to extend pause on police use of facial recognition

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, file photo, Philanthropist and Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates gestures as he speaks to the audience during the Global Fund to Fight AIDS event at the Lyon's congress hall, central France. Despite damaging allegations suggesting Bill Gates pursued women who worked for him, don't expect changes to his roles at the two iconic institutions he co-founded, Microsoft and his namesake philanthropic foundation, raising accountability concerns from critics. (Ludovic Marin/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Bill Gates’ leadership roles stay intact despite allegations

Bill Gates’ leadership roles stay intact despite allegations

Most Read