A mom is furious after a bulldog that mauled her twin four-year-old daughters was returned to its Edmonton owner.
On May 5, the two girls were visiting a garage sale in Vegreville, Alta. when a dog ran out from the yard and attacked them.
RCMP reported the two suffered serious facial wounds.
The girls' mother, Holly Mears, said in a post about the attack that her daughter Kaylee could have been killed, as the dog bit through her lip and nearly through her carotid artery.
Jenna has undergone multiple surgeries "to put her face back together," Mears added.
She shared a photo of Jenna's face before and after the attack.
The dog was taken into custody after the incident, but now a judge has ruled it can be released back to its owners to undergo a behavioural assessment with a dog trainer in Stettler, Alta.
Mears has launched a petition for the dog to be euthanized.
"Putting this dog down is not going to bring back my daughter's face, but it's going to prevent another child from being hurt or worse," Mears told CBC News.
The owners, who have been charged under Alberta's Dangerous Dogs Act, have yet to take the dog for training.
Pattie Kisilevich told Global News her bulldog, Jake, will be "decompressing" at home before he faces any further stress.
For now, the dog will be required to wear a muzzle.
The case will go back to court in August.
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Kids often mistake wagging tails for happiness -- and that isn't always the case, Stilwell says. Help kids recognize when a dog is showing signs of aggression or fear. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.org) offers photos that illustrate canine body language and tips to avoid dog bites. There's also a printable handout (right) that kids and parents can share with classmates. Even if kids know the dog, they should avoid approaching, hugging, staring or showing teeth. Stilwell says these actions can cause pressure for a dog, leading to growling or biting. After years of watching Mom in action, Stilwell says her 8-year-old daughter has learned that it's best to ignore dogs during initial meetings. "She waits for the dog to come to her," she says. "If the dog wants to have a relationship with her, she looks for fluid body language that she can read and we do it on the dog's terms."
Dogs lose interest when they are ignored, so Stilwell (right) tells children to become a tree, standing still and avoiding eye contact when dogs approach. If kids get knocked to the ground, advise them to roll up like a stone on the ground with knees in and hands behind their neck so they protect vital organs. Practice makes perfect.
If possible, slowly walk away from the dog. But she says to avoid freaking out and making high-pitched noises. Whatever happens, do not run. Remember to ignore dogs by becoming a tree or a rock.
If kids see a stray dog during walks to school, remind them to alert an adult. Stilwell says that parents should report loose dogs to animal control immediately. "There are so many irresponsible dog owners out there and these people need to be reported," she says.
Many owners rely on electric fences or shock collars to keep dogs confined to their own yard. But Stilwell notes that kids and other animals can easily cross those invisible boundaries -- and that's often when the trouble occurs. "Mostly children are bitten on the dog's territory by a dog that they know," she says. "It's rare for a child to be bitten by a dog that comes out of nowhere and bites them."
Tell kids to exercise caution and avoid taunting or exciting dogs behind fences, she says. Remember, that fence may not be too sturdy, and some determined dogs can jump over fences without any trouble.
"Being kind to animals is much more powerful than teasing, bullying, or being rough or unkind to these creatures," she says. "How would you feel if you were teased or bullied or hit?"
The animal charity shows us how to make life safer for your child and your pet.