Family euthanizes dog that killed newborn

Despite about a dozen offers to adopt the dog, a Canadian family chose to euthanize a Siberian husky that bit and killed their newborn son.

Rob and Rhonda Fradette of Airdrie, Alta., called 911 on Feb. 15 after their dog bit 2-day-old baby Grayson, CTV News said.

The baby died in a Calgary hospital later that day.

“Having had time to reflect, search for answers and determine the best course of action for our family, we have made the decision to euthanize our family pet,” the Fradettes said on their website. “This was done under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian earlier today (Thursday).”

The Fradettes owned four huskies and competed in dogsled races through their business, Urban Mushers. They are well-trained dogs, and the husky in question – Spot – had no history of violence, Postmedia reported.

The family has recently taken an “Old Pet, New Baby” class from the SPCA. When news of the tragedy broke, the City of Airdrie fielded more than a dozen inquiries from people willing to adopt the animal.

“I’ve had probably 10 to 15 different phone calls or emails,” said Darryl Poburan, manager of municipal enforcement in Airdrie, a bedroom community just north of Calgary.

“To get phone calls from people from Ontario and Winnipeg and other parts of the country — this story obviously went national. It’s interesting to hear from all the concerned people who would like to take the dog instead of having it euthanized.”

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Spot has had four litters of puppies, The Canadian Press said. The 9-year-old female may have been trying to comfort the baby after it began crying, according to family friends.

Dawn Donald said she knows the Fradettes through dogsledding, and spoke to them recently.

According to Donald, the dog escaped its kennel when the baby started crying, and didn’t bite him hard. Donald told reporters the bite wouldn’t have killed an older child.

“It wanted to nurture, care for (the baby),” Donald told CP. “It felt like it was part of the family. That’s what it seemed like to them.”

Police laid no criminal charges in the case. The family, which also has an older son, has established a fund to raise money for Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary in their baby's honour. More than 200 people had donated about $16,000 by the end of the day Thursday.

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