A dog attack Friday evening in South Surrey has left a seven-year-old girl with injuries that will require plastic surgery.
“It’s a terrible situation,” Surrey bylaw operations manager Kim Marosevich said Tuesday, of the incident that occurred on property near 139 Street and 24 Avenue.
Exactly what happened and the extent of the girl’s injuries are unclear. However, Marosevich said bylaw officers were alerted to the attack involving a Dogo Argentino – a breed previously raised for big game hunting in Argentina – by emergency responders, who were dispatched around 8 p.m. Aug. 7.
“We’re not really clear on what exactly happened that triggered that incident,” Marosevich said.
“It’s just a horrific, life-altering event for everybody involved.”
Marosevich said the girl had been invited to play at the home where the dog lived. At least one child also lived at the home, she said, and there have been no previous incidents of aggression involving the canine.
While officers responded to a report in 2012 of the dog being off its property, it was a “pretty routine” call, Marosevich said.
“To the best of everybody’s knowledge, it was quite an unpredictable event,” she said. “He’s been licensed with us for some years.”
Marosevich said the dog’s owners have opted to have their pet euthanized. The procedure – decided on prior to contact with Surrey bylaws – was scheduled for Tuesday (Aug. 11), and once it has been confirmed, bylaws’ investigation will essentially be closed, she said.
If it doesn’t happen, “the dog now meets the definition of dangerous.”
Marosevich said either way, she would like to hear from the victim’s family and any others who witnessed the attack.
But “whether or not they want to provide statements, at the end of the day, will be up to them.”
“I certainly hope to hear from them, even if we only have the opportunity to offer our support.”
While Marosevich couldn’t speculate on what made the dog attack, she has no doubt there would have been warning signs.
“Given the history… I’m speculating that they weren’t looking for warning signs because they never had any reason to look for warning signs.”