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‘They tore my muscles as if I was their prey’: Dog attack survivor wants owners held responsible

Warning: A few of the occasions described under are graphic and disturbing.


Whereas out for a jog this spring within the Japanese Townships, an energetic, 55-year-old Quebec girl had the life she knew torn aside by three canines.

She was attacked on the night of March 29 whereas jogging close to her dwelling in Potton, Que., about 100 kilometres southeast of Montreal.

Twelve surgical procedures later, Dominique Alain is lacking a triceps, her legs are nonetheless wrapped in bandages and he or she goes to bodily remedy 3 times per week.

Her life won’t ever be the identical, and it is with growing frustration that she sees an absence of motion from lawmakers — and no legal costs in opposition to the canines’ proprietor.

Alain mentioned that if no costs are laid, she feels she resides within the “wrong society,” the place “the animal is more important than the person.”

“The owner of an irresponsible dog needs to become legally responsible for their dog,” Alain mentioned in an interview with Radio-Canada.

Quebec’s Director of Felony and Penal Prosecutions mentioned it acquired the file mid-May and is analyzing it. It will not remark additional.

The canines have been euthanized after the SPA de l’Estrie, an animal safety group, discovered them to be aggressive and offered a “very serious, and perhaps deadly, risk to the population.”

‘They simply stored going, going’

Operating has at all times been a stress reliever for Alain.

'They tore my muscles as if I was their prey': Dog attack survivor wants owners held responsible 1
Alain’s legs and arm are deeply scarred after the assault. (Denis Gervais/Radio-Canada)

Whereas jogging close to the Owl’s Head ski resort, she seen the canines barking aggressively inside a close-by home. She remembered pondering, “OK, that’s a good thing they’re inside.”

When she handed the home on her method again, the canines have been unfastened.

“[The dog] comes right at me. Then I see a second and the third one coming.”

The canines didn’t decelerate. They ran straight at her, barking, snarling and baring their enamel.

She remembered pondering, “What’s going on? Stop! Stop! And then they just kept going, going,” Alain mentioned. “They worked together and then tore my clothes and then started just going into my arms and ripping the skin.”

‘That is it: I’m going to die’

She managed to combat again as finest she may. She grabbed one of many canines by the collar, making an attempt to get him off of her, however she mentioned they have been unstoppable.

“And then finally, finally, I thought I was going to die,” Alain mentioned. “This is it: I’m going to die.”

When the proprietor of the canine got here out, she yelled at him to name 911. She remembers one of many first responders within the ambulance telling her, “Don’t give up, don’t let me go. Stay with me.”

Dominique Alain desires the proprietor of canines that left her with critical accidents held criminally chargeable for the assault. 1:38

Within the hospital, Alain was in an induced coma for 2 days, after which spent weeks getting medical procedures and rehabilitating together with her accomplice, Leo Pleasure, by her facet.

Her accidents have been in depth. She needed to be resuscitated in hospital and misplaced muscle, tendons and tissue in each of her legs and arms.

Pointing to the area the place the muscle on the again of her arm must be, she mentioned, “This is gone. I lost muscle. I lost ligament.”

It is horrible, she mentioned, and it ought to “never happen, should not happen. It has to stop.”

Present legal guidelines do not go far sufficient, sufferer says

Earlier this 12 months, the Quebec authorities launched laws aimed toward tightening the principles round harmful canines, giving municipalities a algorithm and the pliability to undertake stricter ones in the event that they see match.

Beneath the brand new guidelines, canine house owners can be required to register their animals, guarantee they’re sporting a collar and on a leash when in public.

There would even be strict guidelines overlaying inspections and seizures, with penal provisions for many who disobey the legislation.

Alain mentioned the principles have to go additional. She desires canine house owners to be obligated to take a security course and have insurance coverage to cowl medical prices if their animals assault somebody.

Jean-François Del Torchio, a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Geneviève Guilbault, mentioned in an e-mail the federal government has consulted with stakeholders and will make further modifications earlier than passing the laws into legislation this fall. 

Caroline Kilsdonk, the president of the Quebec Order of Veterinarians, mentioned that canine house owners “have to take responsibility and be accountable.”

“This attack is proof that sometimes dogs are aggressive — and are free repeatedly. And dogs should not be left to roam free,” mentioned Kilsdonk.

'They tore my muscles as if I was their prey': Dog attack survivor wants owners held responsible 2
That is one in all three canines seized by the SPCA in Potton, Que., after Alain was brutally attacked. (Marie-Hélène Rousseau/Radio-Canada)

Alain has been in rehabilitation for 3 months, with loads extra to go.

“There’s cost to that, not to mention physically what I have to go through for the rest of my life,” she mentioned.

She wanted not solely prosthetics and remedy, but additionally particular modifications to her dwelling.

“If your dog has attacked a human, children — you as an owner, you’re responsible with it,” Alain mentioned. “So you have to live with the consequence of negligence.”

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