As Tyler LeClaire sits in hospital, recovering from a vicious dog attack that left him with a large patch of skin ripped from his face, the dog remains in custody, its fate being determined.
Tyler LeClaire, 7, was sitting on the floor in family home last Saturday when a dog belonging to his sister's boyfriend lunged at him and sank its teeth into the boy's face.
Four hours of surgery and two blood transfusions later, the skin appears to be reattaching to the boy's face as he recovers at the Alberta Children's Hospital.
"He's doing good right now. The skin is starting to take. Things are turning around for him," aunt Tanya Batycki told the Calgary Herald.
"The blood flow is going back to his face. He just has to have lots of things to keep his hands busy so he doesn't itch. He's very strong."
Meanwhile the dog, a pit bull cross, remains in custody of Animal and Bylaw services for a 10-day quarantine. When the quarantine is over the dog will face a behavioural assessment.
Cochrane officials told the Calgary Herald they have no record of the dog previously biting, but are looking into the dog's history.
The owner has also received a $450 fine under Cochrane's animal bylaw.
"The owner has relinquished ownership of the dog to municipal enforcement in Cochrane so there's no chance of the owner deciding to go to court," town spokesperson Emily Cargan told the Herald.
"Essentially, the dog is now ours."
Members of the Calgary Flames took it upon themselves to lift the spirits of LeClaire. According to the Calgary Sun, goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and coach Bob Hartely went to visit the boy in hospital Friday, taking time to sign jerseys and pose for pictures.
"Tyler was so happy, it made his day," his aunt said.
"He just thought it was really cool."
A recent rash of dog attacks in Calgary has many members of the community calling for a ban on dangerous dog breeds.
Instead of a ban, however, a Calgary business man thinks he's come up with a way for people to identify aggressive dogs before the animals get too close.
Sebastian Yoon has taken his idea of colour-coded dog collars to at least one member of city council.
By colour-coding collars, says Yoon, humans would be aware of dogs with a history of aggression towards other people or dogs.
"There would be more signage at the off-leash parks, any park actually, a colour coded system. So it will be either joined with a collar or a tag. So the most aggressive being red. If a dog is sporting a red collar or a tag, the bylaw will state that it has to be muzzled," Yoon told CTV Calgary.
However, the system is not breed-specific, says Yoon.
"The pit bulls are always in the media because they've gotten negative press but the owners, their due diligence is lacking and now we want to make the bylaws black and white, no grey areas. Past history of biting, aggression, muzzled, red," said Yoon.
Councillor John Mar told CTV Calgary the idea is worth considering.
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