Gavin Lightfoot, 3, with family ties to the North Okanagan, suffered a 15-stitch gash to the face after being bit by a dog at a Calgary house birthday party. (Facebook photo)

Family with ties to B.C. warns of dog danger after child bitten

*WARNING*: This story contains graphic images of a dog bite

Editor’s Note: This file contains graphic images. Discretion is advised.

A Calgary family with North Okanagan ties is sharing a horrifying dog-biting incident in hopes it doesn’t happen to another family.

Kristen Lightfoot, whose husband Shane grew up in Vernon and whose in-laws live in Vernon, took her son, Gavin, three, to a birthday party in Calgary Feb. 23.

At the end of the party, as Lightfoot and Gavin were getting ready to leave the house, a mixed breed dog that had been tethered and harnessed throughout the party bit Gavin in the face. The cut required 15 stitches.

“I kept my child away from the dog for the party. The attack happened when we were leaving and happened in a split second,” said Lightfoot, who shared her ordeal on her Facebook page. “I know I couldn’t have stopped this but I should have left earlier or told them (dog owners) to put the dog in a room.

“I regret this and it will haunt me forever.”

RELATED: North Okanagan man suffers dog bites on Okanagan Rail Trail

Gavin had been to the house exactly a year before for another birthday party, but there was no dog at the house at that time.

Lightfoot’s spidey sense about the dog was tingling. She saw the dog harnessed and tethered during the party, and also saw that a friend with her young children didn’t seem concerned by the animal. Still, Lightfoot thought, there were signs.

“I could see this was a new pet. I asked about it and knew it was a rescue,” said Lightfoot. “The dog was tired and agitated by the noise the children were making.”

The kids, she said, were told not to blow party horns because it “bugged the dog.”

RELATED: Lab recovers from rattlesnake bite

She said the dog owners have not reached out to her.

“I could not have predicted how traumatic this would be for my family and, as a dog lover, the pain of what is going to happen to their family. I can’t express all the different emotions and stresses this situation brings up, especially when you know the family who owned the dog.”

Lightfoot cautions fellow dog owners – her family has a miniature Schnauzer named Monster – to get themselves informed on their dog’s temperament, anxiety and limits before putting them in a situation where they could hurt others.

“Everyone who owns a dog, especially a large dog, rescue, or notoriously dangerous breed, needs to be informed and prepared to handle these dogs and know which situations the dog can handle,” she said. “Dogs get stressed, especially around young children in a confined space like a birthday party.”

Gavin, she said, is doing fine and is recovering nicely from the trauma. He is not afraid to be around Monster.

Lightfoot said animal services in Calgary seized the dog the next day and has been informed it will be put down after 10 days following a check for rabies and whether or not Gavin needs to be treated if rabies is found.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gavin Lightfoot, 3, with family ties to the North Okanagan, suffered a 15-stitch gash to the face after being bit by a dog at a Calgary house birthday party. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

The third photograph of Robert Johnson

An old photograph comes to light — a reminder that mythology is real and the past is still alive

East Kootenay snow packs still moderately high

EK snow packs at 114 per cent of normal

City launches guide to help simplify development processes

A new guide that provides information and background on development applications and… Continue reading

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Car stolen from Cranbrook airport

Cranbrook RCMP are investigating a report of a stolen vehicle. The 2020… Continue reading

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read