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B.C. boy identified as victim of fatal Edmonton dog attack

An 11-year-old boy who was killed in a dog attack in south Edmonton on Monday night was a Grade 5 student at Osoyoos Elementary School.

“We want to express our heartfelt condolences to the family,” said Marcus Toneatto, superintendent of School District No. 53, Okanagan Similkameen.

The district was told about the boy’s death by his family on Tuesday morning, Toneatto said.

The district was able to coordinate its critical incident team and have counsellors there for staff and students when they were told about the incident on Wednesday morning.

Supports are available for school staff and students, he added.

“Small communities — there’s so much to be said for having those close ties and people being so connected. But when there’s a tragedy like this, really, the entire community feels it,” Toneatto said.

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“It is difficult … It’s unimaginable, really, this tragedy.”

He said students returned to school Tuesday after spring break. The superintendent says there are lots of questions and emotions.

“These are things we have to work through.

“Because this is now in the media, and with the nature of this accident, I think it makes the grieving process that much more difficult, especially for young people,” Toneatto said.

“The loss of any student … It’s going to be extremely difficult,” he added. “He was well liked.”

Global News has learned the boy was visiting his father in Edmonton during the Easter weekend.

Edmonton first responders at a home near 82 Street and 11 Avenue SW in Summerside, where a child was fatally attacked by dogs on Monday, April 1, 2024. Supplied

The fatal attack happened on Monday around 8 p.m., at a home in the area of 82nd Street and 11th Avenue SW in the Summerside neighbourhood.

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Police said officers arrived to find a “severely injured 11-year-old boy who had been attacked by two very large dogs.” Police attempted to save the boy, but he was declared dead.

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Police said the dogs, who were seized by animal control peace officers, belong to a person who lives at the home where the child was visiting.

The City of Edmonton said animal control peace officers have previously been called to the house. In the past year, officers responded to multiple barking complaints, resulting in warnings and one ticket, the city said Tuesday.

This year, the city said peace officers responded to two attack complaints isolated to inside the home. One complaint concluded without charges and the second remains under investigation.

The city would not provide additional information when asked for comment on Wednesday.

“Once EPS has completed their investigation, there will be an update,” an emailed statement to Global News said. “At that time, the city will be able to confirm some details and provide an update on questions concerning the dogs.”

Police said Wednesday that the April 1 fatality remains under investigation.

Edmonton’s mayor called the situation “devastating.”

“It’s just unbelievable, unimaginable,” Amarjeet Sohi said.

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The mayor said the city will look into previous complaints made about the animals at that property.

“I know there were a number of calls made to bylaw officers and I’m pretty sure (interim city manager) Eddie (Robar) will review those calls and look at if there were gaps in the response. I don’t know if there were gaps in the response. It’s so tragic that a young boy has lost his life in these circumstances and my heart goes out to his family,” Sohi said.

Robar said the processes would be reviewed.

“We’re going to be looking through what calls did come in, really get the information that we need, and make those decisions after the fact,” Robar said.

“It’s pretty soon right now … We’ve talked to our folks in that section, we’re gathering the information now, and we’ll be able to give more information at a later time.”

“We all expect that when people take on the responsibility of having pets in their private homes that they will live up to the expectations that are in the licensing bylaw and that they be responsible pet owners,” Sohi added.

“In this case, I don’t know what happened, but the outcome is very tragic.”

An 11-year-old boy was killed by two dogs in south Edmonton on Monday, April 1, 2024. Lisa MacGregor/Global News

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the School District No. 53 superintendent.


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