Stormy's home: Shelburne dog who bit child gets reprieve

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14-year-old Josh Brown touches his newly returned dog’s paw on Tuesday afternoon.

Amy Woolvett photo

By Amy Woolvett

Stormy and her puppies have been returned to her family after spending two weeks in the municipal dog pound, her fate uncertain.

“I am just overwhelmed and happy,” said Claire Brown, Stormy’s owner.

Earlier this month, a neighbouring four-year old child in Roseway Park wandered into the dog’s yard and the six-year-old beagle mix bit him causing puncture wounds and bruising to his face.

Seized by the Municipality of Shelburne, the dog’s fate was in question. It was later determined that Stormy was pregnant and that may have been a contributing factor to the attack.

The child’s mother has since been the focus of many negative comments on social media and on comment boards on news sites, but the dog’s owner called for understanding.

“I do not agree with anyone being that hard on her,” said Brown.  “Everyone is okay and that is what is important…in my eyes no one is to blame.”

The fenceless backyard of Brown’s home has since been transformed with beware of dog signs and a giant pen built by Brown’s teenage son, Josh.

Josh had built the structure over the weekend in an effort to have the dog returned.

“I was happy,” said Josh, on getting his family pet back.  “I was worried things were going to be worse.”

He said all of the puppies have been spoken for.

Brown was amazed by the community support she received. A fund has been set up to help pay for the insurance the dog now requires and for Stormy to be spayed.

“I was overwhelmed that strangers could be so supportive,” she said.  “I want to thank everyone for their support.”

She hopes there will be no residual hard feelings with her neighbour.

“No one knows what actually happened,” she said.  “Let this be a lesson to all of us.”

Geographic location: Roseway Park

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Greg
    June 01, 2014 - 19:05

    Interesting that the SPCA was called but not child protective services. I agree...sue the city, the woman and the daughter for trespassing. Watch your kids people.

  • Chris
    June 01, 2014 - 14:19

    Sue the town for taking the dog and sue the neighbour for the cost of the pen and insurance.

  • Adogowner
    May 30, 2014 - 21:53

    Was the child really bitten or just scratched? I couldn't tell by the pics. There were no witnesses. Just wondering...

  • Melanie Benham
    May 30, 2014 - 10:01

    Lessons learned here for everyone. No serious harm done to the dog, the child and hopefully friendships. Nice of the dog owner to plea not to come down so hard on the childs mother. Another lesson learned....we don't know all the circumstances. Hopefully...the children get a good lesson on when and when not to approach anyone elses pet and respecting private property boundries; grownups a lesson on due dilagence and forgiveness; neighborhood and friends on coming together to help do the "right" thing for everyone concerned. :) Sometimes things just happen...part of life and learning.

  • HMK
    May 29, 2014 - 11:35

    God bless Stormy.

  • Kim Cole
    May 28, 2014 - 20:23

    I am happy with the decision to return Stormy to her family. I am a dog lover and this dog didn't deserve to be put down. I am sorry for the child that was bitten but a four year old should have supervision at all times especially when playing out doors. I guess no one really will ever know what really happened but I know children can be some what ruff around animals. I feel bad for both families in this situation but I.m glad that this beautiful dog didn't get put down. This is a lesson that children should be taught to never approach an animal that is not familiar to them. This dog is now properly being housed when shes outdoors. I think her being pregnant had a lot to do with what happened. Animals are very protective over their young as we are. God Bless each family.

  • Sherry
    May 28, 2014 - 14:09

    Perfect end to a sad story...Happy to hear everyone involved are doing well

  • SHARON ROY
    May 28, 2014 - 13:24

    I am very glad you have your lovely doggy home, things happen, she was being a mother protecting herself, it was a sin for the little boy, but it was an accident, so glad you got her out of that bad shelter place, God love her.

    • Scott_Chocolate
      May 28, 2014 - 15:17

      A sin? Wait, what?

    • Glad-to-read
      May 29, 2014 - 00:30

      It's a saying... As in a sin(too bad, sad etc) that the boy had to get hurt....

    • Glad-to-read
      May 29, 2014 - 00:31

      It's a saying... As in a sin(too bad, sad etc) that the boy had to get hurt....

  • DD
    May 28, 2014 - 09:29

    I am so glad that the dog and her puppies are home. A 4 year old should not be allowed to wander. I have children as well and my eyes are on them at all times when outside. What was the mother doing that her priority was not on watching her child. Kids are not that fast that you can't catch them.

  • sharon
    May 28, 2014 - 08:52

    very happy about this turn out , lessons hopefully have been learned from this like be aware of where your kids are and teach them not to go near a dog be it neighbors or a strangers unless the adult is present

  • joan macdonald
    May 28, 2014 - 07:37

    so glad this dog and her babies are safe,she was in her own yard and the four year old is too young to understand,tyhe mother needs to know where her child is at all times but on the other hand they are very fast and love dogs.

  • June
    May 27, 2014 - 20:06

    Glad shes home

  • Ruth Coffin
    May 27, 2014 - 19:53

    Since no one actually saw what happened, and I would think there are many possibilities that may have happened. The dog was pregnant and on her own property. A child wanders on to the property and who knows. Did the child tease the dog in anyway or pull her tail or ears? Since no one saw, no one has the right to judge. Any pregnant animal is going to protect what is growing inside her. The child may have never been seen by the dog before so it was an interloper on her territory. The child was 4 eyars old and should have been attended by an adult at all times. Yes the dog should have been in a kennel perhaps. But the dog was on her own property. The outcome is that the dog will now enjoy a healthy full life because some body had the sense to question all the possibilities. Some one had the sense to make the correct call. Hopefully everyone involved will have learned a valuable lesson here. I never like hearing about a child or anyone being bitten by a dog but I dont like hearing that dogs are treated with such disdain neither after an incident such as this. Every animal has rights just like humans and all animals have a right to be heard. Try to be a little more understanding in situations such as this.

  • Bethanie
    May 27, 2014 - 19:41

    I had my son wonder into a neighbors yard, their dog had him on the ground with his chain around my son's neck - a second away from strangling my son to death - and NOTHING was done about it !!! There were people all outside, how he got across the road without anyone seeing him go, is mind boggling - just goes to show kids can move in a blink of an eye !

    • P. Land
      May 28, 2014 - 09:24

      It isn't mind boggling - nobody was watching him. There may have been lots of people around, but is it really their responsibility? Glad your son is okay, but why should something be done to the dog because your son wandered into the yard unsupervised? What would you expect to have been done?Dogs don't know how to strangle people. It didnt wrap a chain around your unsupervised child on purpose. Just like the incident in the article, it sounds like an unfortunate incident that would never have happened if the child had been more closely watched. Thank goodness in both cases all parties are okay (including the dogs).

  • Sandra
    May 27, 2014 - 19:08

    I am THRILLED that for once, somebody makes a decent call in one of these situations. :D With all the crap going on these days, it is good to see that the right call has been made and this dog is back with her boy.

  • Dale
    May 27, 2014 - 18:17

    I don't understand why owners would get a dog then tie it outside. If it is your true companion, then it would be in your house, by your side...not lawn furniture!!!

    • Chelsea
      May 28, 2014 - 18:42

      Perhaps it was outside to go to the bathroom, or perhaps it was outside to enjoy the nice weather?? I love my dogs more than I like most people, which is why, when they go outside, they are on cables so they cant go in the road, get hit by cars and die. Or so they cant go in the road, be a hazard to drivers, or so they cant go around misbehaving in general. I like my dogs alot, and that is why they are tied outside when they go out.

    • Chelsea
      May 28, 2014 - 18:43

      Perhaps it was outside to go to the bathroom, or perhaps it was outside to enjoy the nice weather?? I love my dogs more than I like most people, which is why, when they go outside, they are on cables so they cant go in the road, get hit by cars and die. Or so they cant go in the road, be a hazard to drivers, or so they cant go around misbehaving in general. I like my dogs alot, and that is why they are tied outside when they go out.

  • SubjectiveLy said
    May 27, 2014 - 17:28

    I think it was more the mothers comments that were a bit upsetting. Stating that the dog owner should have informed the neighborhood that she had a pregnant & possibly aggressive dog. I would not expect that she would of or nor should she have because the dogs actions were out of character. We have to keep in mind that we are living with domesticated animals. Although they may be wonderful companions, they can also be fearful or aggressive in certain circumstances. It was a very hard lesson to be learned, but the child is probably not likely to pet or approach a strange dog again. Unfortunately, some situations cannot be predicted or avoided....yes children are busy & wander off, but I also, don't think it was fair to point fingers so vehemently to have the dog euthanized when there are multiple people at fault here. I am glad the dog is getting spayed & has a better enclosure. I hope the dog owners cherish their dog knowing that her life was in limbo. I am glad everything turned out okay in the end.

  • SubjectiveLy said
    May 27, 2014 - 17:26

    I think it was more the mothers comments that were a bit upsetting. Stating that the dog owner should have informed the neighborhood that she had a pregnant & possibly aggressive dog. I would not expect that she would of or nor should she have because the dogs actions were out of character. We have to keep in mind that we are living with domesticated animals. Although they may be wonderful companions, they can also be fearful or aggressive in certain circumstances. It was a very hard lesson to be learned, but the child is probably not likely to pet or approach a strange dog again. Unfortunately, some situations cannot be predicted or avoided....yes children are busy & wander off, but I also, don't think it was fair to point fingers so vehemently to have the dog euthanized when there are multiple people at fault here. I am glad the dog is getting spayed & has a better enclosure. I hope the dog owners cherish their dog knowing that her life was in limbo. I am glad everything turned out okay in the end.

  • Meaghanne
    May 27, 2014 - 16:29

    Good for this lil doggy!! It was tied up on it's own property, pregnant, and that little boy was left unattended. It is NO FAULT of the dog, nor the owner. I feel bad that the little guy got hurt. But very wrong to get a good dog and its unborn puppies potentially killed for their mistake. I have small kids of my own and I know how fast they can wonder off. Hopefully the boys family uses this as a learning experience and keep their kids in sight when out playing.

  • Sue
    May 27, 2014 - 16:25

    Hopefully the dog is a "family" pet and not left in the pen 24/7 that would be a worse fate than being put down.

  • Marilyn Williams
    May 27, 2014 - 16:24

    I am so thrilled that calm heads prevailed as it is usually not so cut and dried as "a dog bit a child ". Children must be watched very carefully around all dogs ...

  • Sue
    May 27, 2014 - 16:24

    Hopefully the dog is a "family" pet and not left in the pen 24/7 that would be a worse fate than being put down.

  • karin
    May 27, 2014 - 16:12

    thats like saying anyone who punches someone should be put down. They only way a dog can defend itself is with its mouth.

  • Brian MacDougall
    May 27, 2014 - 16:10

    These animals are not "put to sleep" - they are "put to death" - and in many cases through no fault of their own. She was just protecting her own. And what did the child do to upset the dog? As usual, blame anyone else but the parent, who obviously was not supervising the child. Thank you, Municipality of Shelburne, for making the right decision.

  • Jackie
    May 27, 2014 - 15:58

    If this was a pitbull or rotWyler dog they would've been put down for 100% for sure.... This stuff makes me upset!!! All dogs should be put to sleep if they bite anyone!!!

    • Katherine
      May 27, 2014 - 16:03

      You need to get more informed on your breeds and dog knowledge. You cant judge a breed, you have to judge how they were raised, treated, what they were fed, how they were trained etc. Its not as easy, nor should it be as a bite is a bite is a bite. You are very naive if you think that and uneducated.

    • VeDdErLoVeR
      May 27, 2014 - 16:09

      Seriously? What a completely uneducated comment. Not everytime a dog bites somebody means they are aggresive in nature. They could feel threatened, or feel like a 'pack member'(owner) is being threatened, in which case they will try to protect. If a person feels like they, or a family member is being threatened and takes physical measures to protect themselves, should they, too, be put down? Your comment is ridiculous.

    • VeDdErLoVeR
      May 27, 2014 - 16:10

      Seriously? What a completely uneducated comment. Not everytime a dog bites somebody means they are aggresive in nature. They could feel threatened, or feel like a 'pack member'(owner) is being threatened, in which case they will try to protect. If a person feels like they, or a family member is being threatened and takes physical measures to protect themselves, should they, too, be put down? Your comment is ridiculous.

    • Julie
      May 27, 2014 - 16:19

      i would agree with you if the dog was roaming free. in fact, it was the little boy who was roaming free and trespassed into the owner's yard and approached the dog who was apparently chained in the yard. this kid needs to learn how to approach animals both on and off private property.

    • Lindsey
      May 27, 2014 - 16:34

      Jackie, may I suggest a dictionary, spell check and a few basic grammar courses. Unfortunately, your lack of common sense is beyond fixing. Please do not reproduce.

    • Tracie
      May 27, 2014 - 17:23

      Really? Wow! You are seriously stunned.

    • Tracie
      May 27, 2014 - 17:24

      Really? Wow! You are seriously stunned.

    • Puppy love
      May 27, 2014 - 18:13

      Jackie, it's never too late to get an education! Be responsible for your children!

    • Puppy love
      May 27, 2014 - 18:14

      Jackie, it's never too late to get an education! Be responsible for your children!

    • Dog-lover
      May 27, 2014 - 18:40

      Jackie your a effing idiot! Do you take a short blue bus to work!!! Assuming you have a job you twit! Who cares that stormy who was tied up by the way bit this kid!! Did you not forget that there's a wandering 4 year old trespassing on private property and if he comes to my yard I hope my dog bites him too!!! The mother should be charged with child neglect!!! Leave stormy alone!! You better back up biatch!

    • Dog-lover
      May 27, 2014 - 18:41

      Jackie your a effing idiot! Do you take a short blue bus to work!!! Assuming you have a job you twit! Who cares that stormy who was tied up by the way bit this kid!! Did you not forget that there's a wandering 4 year old trespassing on private property and if he comes to my yard I hope my dog bites him too!!! The mother should be charged with child neglect!!! Leave stormy alone!! You better back up biatch!

    • Highdee
      May 27, 2014 - 21:20

      WRONG! The 4 year old child should not have been wandering away from his yard and bugging the dog......simple as that. Who lets a kid that young wander away?

    • April
      May 27, 2014 - 21:29

      The breed is not the question and never should be. Every dog is an individual with a unique personality. My rottweiler is a complete sweetheart who loves children and would protect a child with her life. In contrast, I have known other breeds that have a reputation for being the perfect family pet who have bitten children. You can never judge a dog by the breed and you should never leave a child unattended near any dog. That's just common sense which sadly isn't that common.

    • Gamma
      May 28, 2014 - 11:56

      You are very uneducated when it comes to dogs. Maybe you should be put down for being so nasty. Words can be worse than a bite.

  • sm
    May 27, 2014 - 15:43

    Agree with you 100 % where was the adult to supervised the child, I feel sorry for the child hopefully he or she is o.k. .I am surprised that the dog was not put down usually they do, glad to hear that all little ones are being spoken for and nothing like will ever happen again.

  • Michelle Pask
    May 27, 2014 - 15:41

    Finally a good ending to this. I hope the mother has learned to watch her children better and stormy is finally happy at home where she belongs.

  • Glenn
    May 27, 2014 - 15:18

    She did what any mom would do!!!!!! Where was the adult when this occurred. I live alone and have three dogs. My female German S is very protective of me,and she'll do whatever she can to protect. Why is it always the dogs fault,,,,,,,,,,,,,,