The dogs that attacked and severely injured a young girl and her mother in Dysart et al have been put down.

Haliburton Highlands OPP said May 1 the two Saint Bernards were euthanized at the request of their owners. Police said the dogs had attacked a six-year-old and her mother April 12 when they were walking near their home in Dysart et al. Police said their investigation is concluded, with no charges in the case.

“Our investigators did take it to the Crown Attorney and examined all the circumstances around it,” Sgt. Jason Folz said. “They didn’t feel at this time that there were offences under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act.”

The act does state a dog owner shall take reasonable precautions to prevent it from biting or attacking a person. A dog owner also has civil liability for damages resulting from a bite or attack. But the euthanization of the dogs may have played a factor in the case, Folz said.

“I feel the voluntary destruction of those dogs … assisted in making determinations on whether those charges were continued to be examined,” Folz said. “It was a traumatic incident; I’m assuming for everyone involved. Certainly, the young girl and the mother, but probably the owners of the dogs.”

The girl who was severely injured is Sadie Lester, who is still recovering. The community has supported the family, with a GoFundMe raising more than $40,000 as of May 5.

In a May 2 update, her father AJ Lester said there have been ups and downs for the family. “Emotional drain and strain have been hard,” Lester said. “Waiting to see if nerves will regrow, to see if the scars become healed enough that there are no longer any open areas. Just helping to try to make life as normal as possible for Sadie.”

In an earlier update, Lester discussed the family’s feelings about the attack.

“Don’t get me wrong, we are upset, frustrated and angry. But I want those who are watching to know we don’t have hate in us right now,” he said.


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