Students and staff at St. Andrews School are working through their grief by creating tributes to a seven-year-old girl who was mauled to death by dogs on Sunday.
The girl was playing with the dogs at a friend of the family’s home in the afternoon when she was attacked by two Alaskan malamutes who lived there.
She was rushed to the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg where she was pronounced dead.
RCMP have not released the girl’s name, but officials with Lord Selkirk School Division have confirmed she went to St. Andrews School.
Scott Kwasnitza, the superintendent of Lord Selkirk School Division, said Monday was a difficult day for students and teachers.
“It was a sombre day, and you know, I think the kids were supported the best that we knew how,” he said. “It’s a close-knit community in St. Andrews, and we’re hoping that lots of conversations took place last night with the parents.”
Kwasnitza said students are working with grief counsellors to help them deal with the tragedy.
On Monday, students created cards, art, tributes and pictures of the girl to help them with their grief.
“We will gather up a package of all these tributes and notes and artwork and sympathy cards and take them to the family,” said Kwasnitza. “I think that that was a good way to express their feelings.”
Kwasnitza said counsellors will be on hand again on Tuesday to help students cope, but the school is scaling back their presence somewhat.
“It will be a smaller, a bit more subdued group there today because we want to as best we can return to some normalcy,” he said.
Dogs remain in animal services care
RCMP are investigating what exactly happened when the girl was attacked.
So far, officials have only said the child and dogs were being supervised, and adults were gone for only a minute when the attack happened.
Springfield Animal Control seized the pair of three-year-old dogs, named Storm and Bear. They remain in their care, and according to an official have not been acting aggressively since the attack.