Calgary teen taken to hospital after 'pit bull-type' dog bites her legs

A teenage girl was taken to hospital after she was bitten by a "pit bull-type dog" in southeast Calgary. It's the fifth dog attack in Calgary since Saturday, with three suspected to involve pit bulls.

Girl treated for bites on both legs after latest incident in southeast Calgary

'Quite clearly there's a public safety issue here,' says Animal and Bylaw Services director Ryan Jestin after a series of dog attacks in Calgary. (Allison Dempster/CBC)

A teenage girl was taken to hospital after she was bitten by a "pit bull-type dog" in southeast Calgary.

It's the fifth dog attack in Calgary since Saturday, with three suspected to involve pit bulls.

"That specific breed has caused a lot of damage in the last five days," said animal services director Ryan Jestin.

"Quite clearly there's a public safety issue here," he added.

Chastity Simon, who helps abandoned pit bulls, says Mayor Naheed Nenshi's suggestion of harsher penalties for poor pet owners might help.

"At the end of the day they're just a dog, just like all the other dogs.... Training is important, getting help is important. All the resources are out there, people just need to reach out and get it," said Simon.

Jestin said banning specific breeds is probably not the way Calgary wants to go, but he did agree with the mayor that higher fines should be considered. He also put forward the idea of higher licensing fees for certain breeds.

5 dog attacks

The girl bitten on Wednesday suffered non-life-threatening soft-tissue injuries on both her legs, EMS officials say. She was taken to Alberta Children's Hospital.

The owner and his dog, described as looking like a white pit bull with a black patch over one of its eyes, fled the scene. The owner is a man in his 60s with white hair and beard. 

Calgary police and the city's Animal and Bylaw Services department are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call 311.

Alvin Murray, operations manager for city animal and bylaw services, said there was another attack at a bus stop Wednesday in Rundle. He said the dogs — a German shepherd cross and Labrador cross — were running at large and have been seized.

A witness claimed the dogs were on top of the woman, who was bitten in the process. Murray says the victim left the scene, but animal services is hoping to contact her.

Small dogs killed, children injured

On Monday, a 10-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy were taken to hospital with minor injuries after they were bitten by a great pyrenees dog in Abbeydale. The dog was initially reported to be a golden retriever.

Five charges have been laid in that case: having a dog-at-large, two charges of a dog chasing and threatening a person and two charges of a dog biting a person.

Two small dogs were also killed in separate attacks last weekend. 

On May 10, a pit bull in Martindale attacked and killed a leashed dog. Five charges were laid in that case. Animal services says they are still trying to locate the dog.

The previous day, a pit bull attacked and killed a bichon frise-Yorkshire terrier cross in Skyview Ranch. Two charges were laid and the male pit bull was seized.

There were 400 dog bites in Calgary in 2013 and 500 in 2014.


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