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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Fireside Festival gears up for day three in Kelowna

Sunday’s lineup includes the Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Lazy Syrup Orchestra and Frig Off

Rockets grab overtime win over Giants, aim to make it 3 straight with Sunday night rematch

Kelowna’s won their last two games and conclude 3-game weekend against Vancouver

Big White celebrates Aussie Day with a series of fundraisers for wildfire relief

Big White Ski Resort’s restaurants Globe Tapas and Blarney Stone raised $6,000 for charity

Don’t look now: Warriors grab 6th win in 8 games after Morgan’s stellar outing

West Kelowna goalie Riley Morgan made 30 saves in a 4-1 win over Vernon Saturday

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

North Okanagan youth ready to make some NOYSE

Showcase of excellence features talents of young local performance

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

Rockslide obstructing traffic on rural Shuswap road

Large boulders rolled onto Sunnybrae Canoe-Point Road in the South Shuswap.

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Snow angels: B.C. volunteers shovel for those who can’t

‘They’ve helped me make it through the rest of the winter’

Most Read