A woman whose pet attacked a mother and toddler can keep her three dogs, but they must be muzzled and leashed any time they are outside her house, a commissioner ruled Wednesday.
Danny Elliott ruled in bylaw court that there is enough doubt over which of her dogs was responsible for the attack that he couldn't order one be put down.
Cari Caldwell was holding her son, Aengus, two, outside their Beddington home on April 24 when they were cornered by her neighbour's three dogs. Both mother and child suffered puncture wounds and required stitches.
The city impounded Daisy, a two-year-old boxer-pointer cross, but the owners have maintained that they had the wrong dog.
Isabella Cortis, 18, said she was at home with her boyfriend at the time of the attack and her dogs must have escaped from the backyard.
"I think it was a fair judgment. I understand the gravity of what has happened. I am just glad that get to bring my dog home, she is safe and I can take measures to make sure that it never happens again," Cortis said outside court.
Victim in tears
Cortis tried to apologize to Caldwell, but the victim was in tears and didn't acknowledge the dog owner. The court had heard earlier that Caldwell is still dealing with physical and psychological wounds from the attack.
"I wish she maybe would have accepted my gestures and apologizes, but I am glad she at least she understands that I am sorry," said Cortis.
Cortis had pleaded guilty to having her dog at large, and was found guilty on a bylaw charge of having an animal that attacks a person causing injury. Elliott fined her $100 out of a possible $500 penalty for the first offence and $1,000 out of a possible $10,000 penalty for the second.
He also ruled that all three dogs must be muzzled and on lease when they are outside the house — even in the yard — and that Cortis must post warning signs on her home.
Cortis took her dog Daisy, whom she describes as ill, home from the pound on Wednesday afternoon. Cortis has moved and no longer lives near Caldwell.