Two dog owners have been charged after their animals killed an 86-year-old woman in a northwest neighbourhood in June.
Betty Ann Williams, who was known by friends and family as Rusty, was attacked by the dogs in the alleyway behind her home in the 1500 block of 21st Avenue N.W, in the community of Capitol Hill, on June 5. She died from her injuries on the way to hospital.
The dogs were seized and the City of Calgary awaits the outcome of its Dangerous Dog Act application to euthanize the animals from the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. The application, which is scheduled to be heard later this month, identifies the dogs as Smoki, Cinnamon and Bossii and confirms the animals of an unspecified breed were licensed and had microchips.
Denis Bagaric and Talyn Calkins, the owners of the three dogs, face a combined 12 charges under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw including:
- Three counts of animal attack on a person causing severe injury;
- Three counts of animal attack to a person;
- Three counts of animal bite to a person;
- Three counts of animal running at large.
Bagaric and Calkins are scheduled to appear in court on July 28. A conviction on any of their charges carries a maximum fine of $10,000 or up to six months in prison.
A criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Defense lawyer, who is representing two accused, says he has taken no position on whether the dogs should be put down, even with Bagaric vowing to do anything to save the three dogs in his social media posts.
Miller says he first learned of the charges on Tuesday.
“All they are at this point are allegations without any evidence so until I am provided the evidence on which they are relying on, in both civil and quasi criminal action, I don’t have a position,” Miller told.
He adds that Bagaric and Calkins were friends of Williams and her death has shaken them. “It’s the same thing anyone would feel, if one of their friends or neighbours were killed.”
Lawyer who is helping represent the family of Williams read a statement from the family who are hopeful justice will be served.
“The dogs should have been contained,” read from the statement.
“Tragedy like this should not have happened. The owners of these dangerous dogs need to be held accountable and take responsibility for what happened to our aunt.”
Says all legal fees will be donated in Williams’ name to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.