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No criminal negligence charges for fatal dog attack in June

Criminal negligence causing death charges against the owners of three dogs that killed an 86-year-old woman on June 5, will not be forthcoming said Calgary Police.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the service said that investigators determined the elements required to press charges have not been met.

“As tragic as this incident is for those who knew the victim, as well as the community, laying criminal charges require that elements specified within the Criminal Code of Canada have been met,” said Staff Sgt. Travis Baker, Calgary Police Service General Investigations Unit.

“In this incident, the Crown Prosecutor’s office agreed with our assessment that the elements in this case were not met, and therefore, we are unable to lay criminal charges.”

The service said that the outcome would be disappointing to some Calgarians, given the nature of the attack. Police said that the decision to not lay charges came after speaking to witnesses, conducting a criminal investigation, and consulting with Crown Prosecutors.

“During our investigation, we found the owners of the dogs took reasonable precautions in securing the animals within their property by using a locked gate,” said Staff Sgt. Baker.

“There is no way to prove the owners had knowledge the dogs would escape, as they had no history of previously escaping from this residence. In addition, there was no sign of malicious intent on behalf of the dog owners.”

Charges were laid previously against the owners of the three dogs in July under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.

Alberta Health Services launched an investigation into the EMS response to the fatal dog attack in June. That independent investigation is being headed by the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and has yet to be released.