By Larissa Johnston, from The Gazette
A dog owner in Shirley, B.C., hanged an animal to death Friday after it attacked a five-year-old boy.
After the attack, police arrived on the scene. The chocolate lab-pit bull cross was dead and the owner, 39, admitted to hanging it in his backyard with its leash.
Neighbours had heard screaming and crying from up the street during the attack.
"It was the sound of human despair. It was like nothing I ever heard before," said Matt Robertson, who lives in the community some 35 kilometres west of Victoria.
"It was awful. It was absolutely chilling."
The young boy was sent to hospital, suffering a severe cut to his right cheek, and required emergency surgery.
He is expected to make a full recovery, but his current condition is unknown to police, said RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Wright.
The family knew the neighbour's dog, and the boy had been playing with it before the attack.
The owner grabbed the dog right away and hanged it without anyone seeing him do so.
RCMP passed the matter to the SPCA, which will investigate the case. Police have not released the dog owner's name because charges have not been laid.
If there is evidence of an offence, SPCA constables could recommend charges to the Crown, said Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations.
But because it happened during the weekend, they have not yet received the file.
Dog owners are allowed to stop their pet during an attack, but cruelty after the attack is illegal.