A 10-year-old boy is recovering at B.C. Children’s Hospital after having part of his arm torn away by a dog while delivering newspapers last week.
Victoria Makortoff, the boy’s mother, was helping him complete his paper route along 6th Street around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15. She was in their family car and waiting for him to deliver a paper to one of the houses when she saw the dog attack.
“I was parked right beside the sidewalk and he was skipping, grabbing a paper like he always does, and went up to deliver the newspaper in the mailbox,” said Makortoff.
“Nobody’s ever comes out of that house before. However, all of a sudden the door opened, the dog seemed to go through the owner’s legs and latched onto my son’s arm. He told me he knew he was going to get bitten when he heard that dog bark.”
While the man couldn’t control the dog, her son managed to kick it off him.
Makortoff quickly jumped out of her car, wrapped her son’s arm up with a shirt and transported him to the Castlegar and District Community Health Centre.
RCMP were notified about the incident and attended the hospital. They referred the case to Castlegar city staff.
Makortoff was later told by health care workers that her son would need surgery on his arm at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. She drove him from Castlegar to Vancouver on Saturday, Oct. 17.
The boy underwent emergency surgery the next day to repair the damaged tissue. While the operation went well, he might need further surgery to have skin grafts. The bite went down to the bones.
“We’re lucky that my son is as big and chunky as he is and that the bite never hit any major arteries,” said Makortoff, who anticipates they may have to be at the hospital for the next two and a half months for her son’s treatment.
While Makortoff heard that the owner would be willing to put the dog down, she hasn’t been able to confirm if that is the case.
City of Castlegar director of corporate services, Tracey Butler, told Castlegar News that a city investigation has started, but would not reveal if the dog had been euthanized. She could only confirm that an investigation had started and declined to provide further information. Castlegar does not have a full-time animal control officer.
Castlegar News staff visited the home of the owner of the dog, but he refused to speak to a reporter. Another tenant living on the second floor of the same house claimed the animal had already been put down, although that has not been verified.
Makortoff said she’s concerned about the safety of others with the house located in the 800 block of 6th near Twin Rivers Elementary School, Stanley Humphries Secondary School and Castlegar Primary School.
“My biggest concern is around all of the kids that walk by this house with all of the schools located around it,” said Makortoff.
“To have a dog so aggressive that it would rip a person’s arm apart is very scary.”
Makortoff said the dog is quite large and looked to be a yellow Labrador.
Castlegar News contacted Mayor Bruno Tassone on Thursday, who said he was not aware of the incident and could not comment.
Castlegar News will provide more information on this story as it becomes available.