Charges will be laid against the owner of two dogs alleged to have attacked a woman who was walking them in a field near Sylvan Lake late Saturday afternoon.
Sylvan Lake animal control officer Jim DeBoon, who was the first responder to the scene, said it was among the most vicious attacks he has investigated in more than 30 years of working with domestic pets.
DeBoon, owner of Klassic Kennels, has now passed the investigation on to Sylvan Lake RCMP because, while the dogs and woman live in town, the attack occurred in an nearby field and are outside of his jurisdiction.
The woman was looking after the dogs for their owner, who was out of town.
Because it is no longer his case, DeBoon said he is not able to provide details of his findings.
However, he confirms posting the following comment on his company’s Facebook page:
“I would need to find out something outrageously compelling to make me recommend not euthanizing dogs that have inflicted this level of damage. I always put people first. Human life has to be paramount. That being said, this is almost always an avoidable situation. It is tragic on so many levels.”
DeBoon has since spoken with the victim and reports that she is still in pain and will require plastic surgery.
He confirmed that the dogs blamed in the attack are both pit bulls, commenting that the breed itself was not a factor, although the animals’ tremendous physical power would enable them to carry out a sustained attack.
One third of attacks reported to have been carried out by pit bulls turn out to have been a different breed, said DeBoon. In all cases, it is not the breed of dog, but its training and temperament that will determine its behaviour, he said.
Cpl. Malcolm Calihoo of the Sylvan Lake RCMP could not be reached on Friday to provide details of the investigation.