Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Seven-Year-Old Manitoba Girl Dead after Dogs Attack

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Seven-Year-Old Manitoba Girl Dead after Dogs Attack

Article excerpt

Girl dead after dogs attack in Manitoba

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WINNIPEG - A Manitoba community is mourning the death of a "bright and inquisitive" seven-year-old girl who was mauled by two dogs at a rural home.

RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel said officers responded to a call Sunday in the Rural Municipality of Springfield. Media reports have identified the girl as Gracie Herntier-Clark. She was rushed to a Winnipeg hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The child, who was from the Rural Municipality of St. Andrews just north of Winnipeg, was visiting family friends at the time of the attack, Seel said.

"Two Alaskan malemute dogs were seized and are being held by RM of Springfield animal control while the investigation continues," she said Monday. "It should be noted that the dogs were known to the deceased. This was not a random attack."

It's not clear what prompted the attack, she added.

The girl was being supervised by an adult but it doesn't appear anyone witnessed the mauling, Seel said.

"This is just a tragedy all around and you never like to hear about this type of thing. You feel for everyone involved."

Kristin Nicholson, who lives next door, said she's never seen the dogs behave violently.

"We have two little girls that are four and seven and the neighbours' dogs were over here all the time," she told radio station CJOB. "We weren't scared of them ... they were big but playful and I'm just in shock that that's what went on."

Charges are not being ruled out.

"We're still in the thick of the investigation," Seel said.

Scott Kwasnitza, superintendent of the Lord Selkirk School Division, said teachers and students were struggling to come to terms with the Grade 2 student's death.

"They're devastated. It's not something that happens in a school setting very often," he said. "She was a bright inquisitive girl who was full of life. …

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