Manitoba mom upset after dog mauls 5-year-old daughter at foster home

A mother from a Manitoba First Nation is distraught after her five-year-old daughter was mauled by a dog at her foster home, then sent back to the same foster home after she was released from hospital.

Girl 'freaked out crying' after learning she'd be sent back to foster home, says mother

A mother from a Manitoba First Nation says she is distraught after her five-year-old daughter was mauled by a dog at the foster home she was placed in. 1:39

A mother from a Manitoba First Nation says she is distraught after her five-year-old daughter was mauled by a dog at the foster home she was placed in.

Furthermore, the child was sent back to the same foster home after she was released from hospital, according to her biological mother, who wants the girl and her sister placed in a safer environment.

"My daughter wouldn't even let me leave her sight," the mother said in an interview Friday. 

"When she knew she was going back to the foster parents' home, she just freaked out crying because she doesn't want to go there. She's traumatized."

The five-year-old suffered cuts on the left side of her face as a result of the attack, which happened April 24 at a foster home outside Winnipeg where she and her six-year-old sister live.

The girls cannot be named because they are in Child and Family Services care. CBC News is not identifying the biological mother to protect her daughters' identities.

This five-year-old girl suffered cuts on her face after she was attacked by a dog on April 24 at a foster home outside Winnipeg where she and her six-year-old sister live. The girls cannot be identified because they are in CFS care. (Family photo)
The mother said she learned that the five-year-old had been playing on a hill behind the foster home when she was attacked by the dog.

"Just as my daughter was done rolling down the hill she [had] come to a complete stop and the dog had jumped on her and started attacking her," the mother said.

The girl's sister "had to get the foster mom to come and go and get the dog off her, because when she got there the dog was still on top of her," the mother added.

"We asked her what happened and she said she wasn't provoking the dog and the dog just attacked her."

The dog belonged to the foster parents, according to the girls' mother.

'She didn't want to go back'

The mother said she was not contacted about the attack until several hours after it happened, and she didn't get to see her daughter until she went to a Winnipeg hospital on Sunday morning for surgery.

"The night before she was being released, which was Wednesday night, she informed me that she didn't want to go back to the foster parents' home, and I asked her why and she told me she was scared," the mother said.

"When my social worker came, I informed her [of] that and I gave her a replacement home to take both daughters, and she said there was really no safety issue.

"But meanwhile, after the accident occurred the dog was still in their care until Monday, so my daughter had to be in that home overnight with that dog and they left my second daughter in that home as well until Monday — that's when the dog was finally taken to the vet."

The status and whereabouts of the dog are currently not known.

A Manitoba government spokesperson told CBC News in an email Friday that the CFS agency involved in the child's care "would conduct a review of the matter and gather information from witnesses or those involved in the foster care placement."

Calls to the CFS agency have not been returned as of Friday afternoon.

Location of foster home not known

Cora Morgan, Manitoba's First Nations family advocate, said the incident was reported to the CFS agency but not to RCMP. The girls' biological mother spoke with RCMP on Friday, she said.

Morgan said the parents of children who are apprehended by CFS authorities generally have no recourse.

"In fact, this mother doesn't even know where her children are even being placed," she said.

"Throughout this whole incident there's a lot of mental torture, and when CFS is apprehending children they should be placed in safe environments."

Morgan said the girls' mother has been complaining for six months about the quality of care her daughters have been receiving at the foster home.

The girls' mother said her sister and an aunt have offered to take in both girls.

"I think it's really horrifying this child is made to go back there," Morgan said.

"This little girl [is] being forced to go back, on top of the trauma that happened less than a week ago…. I think it's complete negligence on the part of the agency."

With files from the CBC's Courtney Rutherford