VANCOUVER - A woman bitten more than 100 times while protecting her three-year-old nephew from a vicious dog is in critical condition following the second such canine attack to take place in British Columbia within a week.
Officers in Richmond, B.C., responded Wednesday afternoon to multiple reports of a 21-year-old woman covered in blood, fending off a large Rottweiler cross on an outdoor field. Police had previously identified the animal as a Rottweiler-pit bull cross.
"Our officers commented that it was a horrifying sight to bear witness to," said RCMP spokesman Const. Dennis Hwang in a statement.
"We see and love dogs as faithful companions and now they were witnessing a scene from their worst nightmare."
The toddler was unharmed but the boy's mother and a passerby were injured while trying to help out. Both were taken to hospital with laceration injuries but have been released.
"Their drive to protect the boy was incredibly heroic," said Hwang.
The boy's aunt is undergoing surgery after suffering dozens of bites, a broken arm and a detached bicep. Mounties said the dog belongs to her boyfriend.
The canine ran off after being shot at by police but was eventually captured and is being held, uninjured, at a Richmond animal shelter.
Whether the dog will be destroyed is a decision for the shelter and the City of Richmond, said Hwang.
The attack followed a separate Christmas Day mauling in northern B.C.
Two dogs tore into a couple's home in Fort St. John while chasing a cat and turned on Robin Elgie, 66, and his girlfriend, Wendy Lee Baker, 51.
A frantic 911 call drew officers to the home where they found Baker suffering from severe bite wounds and Elgie unresponsive in a chair while the dogs mangled his arms.
"(The officers) tried everything that they could to distract the dogs, to draw their attention away, but they still kept attacking this man," said Tyreman.
"At that point they felt they had no other alternative but to use lethal force."
Officers shot and killed one dog but the other escaped with serious injuries before it was tracked and "humanely put down," Tyreman added.
Elgie is in intensive care at an Edmonton hospital and may lose his left arm as a result of his injuries, but family friend Kim Babcock said he remains in good spirits.
"He's not angry. He just says: 'We're so lucky, we're so lucky. If (Wendy) Lee had been by herself, they could have killed her,'" said Babcock, who owns the Fort St. John contracting company where Elgie is employed.
"He's just, he's an amazing person."
Doctors are waiting to see if blood flow can be restored to Elgie's damaged limbs, she added.
By early Thursday, a GoFundMe campaign launched by Babcock on Wednesday to cover the cost of bringing Baker to Elgie in Edmonton and cleaning and repairing their damaged home passed its $10,000 goal.
Babcock said Baker gave a statement to RCMP on Thursday, while officers traced the dogs to their owner and determined what prompted the attack.