Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dogs that mauled little girl to death put down

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The RM of Springfield has euthanized two Alaskan malamutes that attacked and killed a seven-year-old girl last Sunday.

Municipality officials made the decision to put down the dogs after consulting with the office of Manitoba's chief medical examiner.

The RCMP and medical examiner no longer needed the dogs for their investigations.

The dogs -- Bear and Shadow -- were killed by injection Thursday.

"The people that owned the dogs didn't want anything to do with them. The dogs are obviously unpredictable," said Scott Smith, RM of Springfield chief administrator.

Samples were taken to test the dogs for rabies and other diseases but results could take up to 10 days, Smith said.

Gracie Herntier-Clark, of St. Andrews, was visiting friends near Oakbank when the two dogs suddenly became vicious.

She had played with the dogs on many previous visits and loved animals.

Her funeral is at 11 a.m. today at Immanuel Pentecostal Church, 955 Wilkes Ave.

Gracie, a Grade 2 student at St. Andrews School, has been described as a bright and inquisitive girl.

She "loved all animals, especially her three dogs Blacky, Mango and 'The Mexican' Chi-Chi," her obituary in the Free Press read.

"Gracie spent countless hours with her dogs teaching them how to read and write, she never gave up on them."

The RCMP haven't ruled out laying criminal charges against the dogs' owners.

A criminal investigation into her death will likely involve consultation with senior justice officials and could take months.

Typically, a charge of negligence would be considered, but to prove such an offence, the dog owners would have to be guilty of "a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons" either through commission or omission of an act.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 22, 2014 ??65532

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