Montreal

Three dogs seized after woman severely injured in Eastern Townships

The SPCA has seized three mixed breed dogs that authorities believe were responsible for a violent attack on a jogger in the Eastern Townships Friday — an attack that left the 50-year-old victim in need of emergency surgery.

Victim spent 8 hours on the operating table

This is one of three dogs seized by the SPCA Sunday afternoon in Potton, Que., after a woman was brutally attacked. (Marie-Hélène Rousseau/Radio-Canada)

Animal-protection authorities have seized the three mixed-breed dogs believed to be responsible for a violent attack on a jogger in the Eastern Townships Friday that left the 50-year-old victim in need of emergency surgery.

After the attack, provincial police told the owner to keep the dogs on his property in Potton, Que., not far from the Owl's Head ski resort while the victim spent the weekend in hospital after an eight-hour surgery.

Her health has since stabilized and the dogs were finally taken away Sunday evening.

Police are investigating the matter and charges could be laid against the dogs' owner.

The animals will be evaluated by government and animal protection officials to determine whether they should be put down.

The fact that it took 48 hours for the dogs to be taken into custody has spurred controversy in the small community.

Potton Mayor Jacques Marcoux said the municipality will review why it took so long to seize three potentially dangerous dogs. 

The three dogs suspected in the attack were loaded into vans and caged Sunday. The animals had reportedly shown signs of aggression in the past. (Marie-Hélène Rousseau/Radio-Canada)

"We will sit down and analyze the situation and see how things can be improved," he said. "It is certain that it would have been better if it had been done as quickly as possible."

The mayor has said he knows the victim, an athletic resident of the area. At first, emergency responders thought she wouldn't make it, said the mayor, describing the incident as "very sad."

The municipality of Potton doesn't have a contract with the SPA des Cantons, the local animal protection agency and shelter. 

The agency's director, Carl Girard, said there should be province-wide guidelines for dealing with potentially dangerous animals.

"There is a huge legal uncertainty and the government has to start managing it," she told Radio-Canada. "It's a priority, It's urgent."

With files from Radio-Canada

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