Manitoba girl, 7, mauled to death by dogs

An Alaskan malamute dog is pictured in this file photo. (Fotolia)

An Alaskan malamute dog is pictured in this file photo. (Fotolia)

David Larkins, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:25 PM ET

WINNIPEG — A seven-year-old St. Andrews, Man., girl died in a Winnipeg hospital after she was attacked by two Alaskan Malamute dogs Sunday afternoon.

RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel said the incident happened when the girl was “visiting friends of the family” at the house where the dogs lived, declining to provide other details.

“It is still under investigation,” Seel added.

Lord Selkirk School Division superintendent Scott Kwasnitza declined to confirm the girl’s name, but acknowledged media reports that identified her as Gracie Herntier-Clark. Kwasnitza learned of the tragedy Sunday night and said a school division crisis support team was enlisted right away.

Kwasnitza said he was at St. Andrews School for “about three hours” Monday morning and remarked at the resilience many of the students are showing.

“They run the same spectrum of emotions that we do as adults,” he said. “I think they understand there’s a loss, but they want to support the family.”

Springfield animal control officer Dan Fryer confirmed the dogs are being held by the RM of Springfield’s animal control department while the investigation continues.

“Typically dog attacks don’t involve a fatality,” Fryer said. “In this case, the main concern is seizing the animals and making sure the animals don’t cause any further harm and we just have to sit and wait for the investigation to unfold so we can proceed.”

Fryer said a decision on the fate of the dogs is not in the hands of animal control.

“It’s entirely up to the RCMP as to how they wish to proceed,” Fryer said. “It’s one of those things where they may request that the dogs be euthanized.”

Seel, however, said it falls under an RM’s bylaws.

“It is our understanding that each RM has their own set of bylaws,” she said. “So whatever falls under those bylaws will give animal control within that rural municipality their guidelines on how to proceed.”

david.larkins@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @LarkinsWSun


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