A woman mauled by a canine rescued from the dog meat industry in South Korea fears it may attack again, after Winnipeg's animal services department returned it to the agency that initially brought it to the city.
"I think the City of Winnipeg made a big error in judgment there," Francine Wiebe said Tuesday from her Grace Hospital bed, recovering from a Nov. 26 attack.
The Korean Jindo that appeared so smart and calm when her family adopted it from a local pet rescue, snapped for no apparent reason and went for her throat, Wiebe said.
She tried to protect herself with her left arm, which the male dog tore into, shredding the skin and breaking the bone. One of Wiebe's young adult daughters tried to pull the animal off her, while another called 911.
"I'd never experienced the pain of a broken bone like that before," said the married mother of three and school principal. She said there was a lot of blood from where the dog — named Lego — had bitten her arm and chest trying to get at her neck.
"When I collapsed, he sat down and tucked his tail between his legs, whimpering," she said. It calmly went into the front porch of their Wolseley home and Wiebe's daughter closed the door behind it.
Police and paramedics — who were warned to use the side door — arrived within minutes, said Wiebe, who was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Members of City of Winnipeg's Animal Services Agency came later to deal with the dog, she said.
While recovering in hospital, Wiebe tried via 311 to find out the fate of the animal, concerned it may hurt someone else, but got no response.
On Tuesday, a city spokesman said in an email the dog had been returned to "the custody and care of a rescue (agency). Please contact them for more details."
A spokeswoman for animal services said the agency did "respond to the incident" and the rescue agency is completing a quarantine of the dog. "Officials from animal services have contacted the victim and continue to investigate."
The operator of Penny's All Breed Rescue Agency Inc. did not respond to a request for comment.
Wiebe said she's spoken to the woman running the rescue agency, who told her the attack "was very unusual" and the dog wouldn't be placed in another home. However, Wiebe continues to be concerned, as Lego was one of eight dogs from South Korea adopted by Manitobans via the agency, and wants them to know of the dangerous incident.
Wiebe, who founded Freedom International School to help newcomer youth at risk of dropping out of school, said the pet rescue operator has a good heart and means well, but she questions the safety of bringing dogs raised in horrific circumstances to Canada.
"As beautiful and smart as they are, maybe they shouldn't be allowed into Canada," said Wiebe.
When Wiebe's family met Lego, they were smitten by the strong, beautiful animal.
"We were looking forward to having a dog we could go hiking with," she said. The person who had been fostering it for a month reported no problems, Wiebe said.
On Nov. 10, they had him for a day, and the dog was obedient and calm, Wiebe said. The family soon adopted it.
Just over two weeks later, at her home, Wiebe was sitting as the dog approached and sat beside her. He looked at her, and cocked his head; she reached down to pat him.
"He bared his teeth and growled. In a split-second, he was lunging at me. I blocked him with my left arm. He kept trying to get my throat," Wiebe said.
Now, she's on intravenous antibiotics and surgically-repaired arm has a plate with pins it it. She will be away from her job at the school until the new year, she said.
Wiebe said she's since been in touch with dog-rescue advocates who told her Jindos should never be adopted to family homes, especially the ones rescued from horrific circumstances such as the dog meat industry.
The breed reportedly have a high prey drive, are hard to make a connection with, extremely anxious, and are made for the wild, said Wiebe.
"We wish we had known before ever opening our door and hearts to this beautiful dog."
Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.
Updated on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 7:11 PM CST: Updated
December 4, 2019 at 8:28 AM: Adds missing word