Campaign starts to adopt dog that killed Alberta baby
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, February 27, 2012 5:04PM EST
AIRDRIE, Alta. - Animal lovers from across the country are volunteering to adopt a pet husky that killed a newborn baby in southern Alberta.
At least a dozen people have made requests through the city of Airdrie and many more have sent messages to the baby's parents.
"Euthanizing this dog will not bring that little baby back," said Ron Pawlowski of Bradford, Ont., a business professor who wants to have the dog moved to his farm.
"I know that the whole country shares in this poor family's grief. If this dog proves to be no further a threat, I hope that the dog can be given a new home."
The two-day-old baby boy was bitten Feb. 15 in the couple's home in the bedroom community north of Calgary. He died later that night in hospital.
A family friend has said the baby was crying in his crib, and the dog was likely trying to comfort him when it bit him once in the head. The female dog had previously given birth to several litters of puppies.
The RCMP have said there was no negligence by the parents and there will be no criminal charges.
The husky remains in quarantine and is being assessed by an animal behaviour expert. If the family decides it doesn't want the dog destroyed, the matter will be heard by a provincial court judge March 15.
Rob and Rhonda Fradette said in a statement last week that they had been mourning the loss of their new baby and hadn't discussed whether the dog should be destroyed. The animal had not been aggressive before and went through training and obedience classes.
"We will never know what our family pet was thinking nor will we ever know why she did what she did," they said.
The Fradettes are active in the dog sledding community and run a home-based company called Urban Mushers that sells dog-sledding supplies. According to the company website, they have four Siberian huskies and love them like family.
The couple also has a 2 1/2-year-old son.
Darryl Poburan, manager of municipal enforcement in Airdrie, said the tragedy has touched people across the country. Most of the adoption requests have come from people who don't have children and don't want the dog destroyed.
He said no adoption requests will be considered until the Fradettes and possibly a judge rule on the dog's fate.
"I'm just praying that the judge does the right thing," said Pawlowski.
He and his wife adopted a three-legged Labrador retriever a decade ago from an animal shelter in Toronto. The dog had been hit by a car, abandoned by its owners and was about to be destroyed. It died of cancer last year.
"We gave Beemer a second chance and, if the judge feels that it is appropriate, we can give this dog a second chance too," Pawlowski said.
Carol Taplin, a real estate agent from Stouffville, Ont., said she is willing to pay to have the dog put on a plane and sent to her home. She had a husky that died last year.
She said the Fradettes probably won't want to keep the dog, because it will remind them every day of their dead baby. And she doubts their neighbours will want the dog around either.
"Anyone in town will know the story and probably never treat the dog well," said Taplin. "Let's take her to a new province and start again."