Dog involved in serious attack on Vegreville twins allowed back in public

Vegreville mom Holly Mears says she is frustrated and upset after a court decided to allow the dog that attacked her children back in public.

Mother of four-year-old twins who were attacked wants dog euthanized

Vegreville mother Holly Meares wants the public to see this picture of how badly her daughter was injured following a dog attack. (Holly Meares)

Vegreville mom Holly Mears says she is frustrated and upset after a court decided to allow the dog that attacked her children back in public.

Mears fears other children could be attacked like her four-year-old twin girls were in Vegreville on the evening of May 5.

"It seems that dogs have more rights than children," said Mears, who has called 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."

The dog's owner has been charged with failing to properly control the dog under the Dangerous Dog Act. But on Wednesday the dog was released to the owner, who lives in Edmonton.

The owner has been ordered to keep the animal in a proper manner to ensure the safety of the public and the dog. The owner must also have the dog assessed by a qualified individual.

"They put a court order in place that it can not enter the town limits of Vegreville," Mears told CBC News. "And that if it passes its assessment that it can go back into the general community, not our community but everywhere else it's totally allowed."

Mears said it was revealed in court that the animal it is a purebred English Bulldog. But she doesn't think genetics are a factor.

"It has nothing to do with dogs in general or even the breed," she said. "It's just this particular dog is in my opinion a danger to society."

Two surgeries 

Mears has started an online petition asking the courts to rethink the decision to let the dog back into the community, even though it is in Edmonton. 

"My youngest twin, she got her tear duct ripped open on the top and the bottom; she had her chin ripped open, she has a bite underneath her chin," she said, adding it will be a long and painful recovery.  "Her lip on the top was essentially torn to the bone and her nostril on that side was also ripped off.

The girl had two surgeries, lasting about nine hours. She will need care for her wounds twice a day, every day, for about a year. She had a tube put in her nose to fix her tear duct, "and it may or may not work, we're not sure." She'll need more plastic surgery in about a year, and can't be exposed to sunlight because it will inhibit the scars from healing. 

Meanwhile, Mears said the other twin was lucky to survive.

"She received a bite though her lip, and the other bite was a few inches from her carotid artery,' she said. "The officer on scene informed me that had it hit her carotid artery, he wouldn't have been able to save her before the ambulance got there."

Mears said her two other children witnessed the attack and all four are traumatized by the incident.

The case will be back in court on Aug. 17.