Pair of Alaskan Malamute Dogs Maul 7-Year-Old Manitoba Girl, Victim Dies

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | March 18, 2014 3:56 PM EST

Described as normally friendly dogs, a pair of Alaskan malamute dogs have mauled to death a 7-year old girl from Manitoba, Canada.

The dogs, named Shadow and Bear, never had a violent streak. Neighbours even found them friendly and playful.

REUTERS/Gary Cameron
A woman, along with her dog, assesses her ice and snow encrusted car on a side street in Washington March 17, 2014. A winter storm landed a final punch on the U.S. mid-Atlantic states on Monday just days before spring begins, dumping more than a foot (30 cm) of snow in some places, shutting schools and federal offices and cancelling flights. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

"They were very playful," Kristin Nicholson, who lives next door and was familiar with the 3-year-old dogs, said. "I never would've thought that something like that would go on."

Diane Tracy, president of the Working Alaskan Malamute Club of Manitoba, likewise said the particular dog breed was never known for violence.

"They love people most of the time. They are very family oriented. They are happy to be couch potatoes with you and yet can live outside and be quite comfortable there too," Ms Tracy said. "They're not normally a dog that could be aggressive. If properly trained they are not an aggressive dog."

The girl, later identified as a student of St. Andrews School, was attacked just before 3:30 pm on Sunday. She was visiting the home of friends when she was attacked.

The dogs it seemed know the unidentified little girl.

"She's been over here playing with our kids also. She came over one day and watched a movie, and she was there lots," Ms Nicholson said. "Lots of times [she was] playing with those dogs."

Springfield Animal Control had seized the two Alaskan malamute dogs but have not destroyed them. It noted the dogs have not been acting aggressively since being taken into custody.

"Right now we have them in a secure facility, and they will stay there until we get further direction," Dan Fryer, the animal control officer who seized the two dogs, said.

"Typically dog attacks don't involve a fatality," Mr Fryer said. "In this case, the main concern is seizing the animals and making sure the animals don't cause any further harm and we just have to sit and wait for the investigation to unfold so we can proceed."

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(Photo: REUTERS/Gary Cameron / )
A woman, along with her dog, assesses her ice and snow encrusted car on a side street in Washington March 17, 2014. A winter storm landed a final punch on the U.S. mid-Atlantic states on Monday just days before spring begins, dumping more than a foot (30 cm) of snow in some places, shutting schools and federal offices and cancelling flights. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
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