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

Mount Baker students support Spooner Park initiative

Outdoor Education and Geography students work with Mainstreams to clear weeds, support ecosystem

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Cranbrook and Kimberley Councils support initiative calling on BC Gov. to cover prescription contraception

On September 14, 2020, Cranbrook City Council unanimously passed a motion calling… Continue reading

Former MP Wayne Stetski running for BC NDP in Kootenay East

Former federal MP Wayne Stetski is running as the BC NDP candidate… Continue reading

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Most Read