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.

 

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

Castlegar council meetings will soon be online

Council chambers will be getting new microphones and cameras.

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmor Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Refugee who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong arrives in Canada

Vanessa Rodel and her seven-year-old daughter Keana arrived in Toronto this week

New UMSCA trade deal getting a boost from Trump, business groups

The trade deal is designed to supplant the North American Free Trade Agreement

Trudeau says he, Wilson-Raybould had cordial conversation last week

Trudeau denies anything improper occurred regarding SNC-Lavalin and the PMO

SNC-Lavalin backtracks on CEO’s comments surrounding potential job losses

Top boss had said protecting 9,000 jobs should grant leniency

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Most Read