Dog killed and owner injured in Fort Simpson dog attack

A Fort Simpson woman says her dog was seriously injured and she was left with a bite wound after an attack earlier this month by what she described as a pit bull terrier.

Linda Hanna says she was walking her 10-year-old Shih Tzu, Boots, on April 7 when they were suddenly attacked by the other animal. The attack ultimately proved fatal to Boots.

“This dog came out of nowhere,” said Hanna.


The incident occurred on a street near the Líídlįį Kúę Regional High School in the middle of the afternoon. Several bystanders who witnessed the attack tried to separate the two dogs, but were unsuccessful. When Hanna tried to intervene, she said, the attacking dog turned on her.

“He turned around and grabbed my leg,” said Hanna, who described the dog as strong. “I’m lucky he didn’t snap the bone.”

Hanna says she has been having trouble sleeping since.

“It happens over and over in my dreams. I wake up yelling for my dog, but he’s not here.”

She says this is not the first time she has been attacked by a dog in Fort Simpson, and she has had enough.


“There was a dog that grabbed my neck about an inch from my jugular, and that dog’s still running around the island,” she told Cabin Radio.

“What if it was a little kid? My little two-year-old granddaughter, she was here for the holidays and she loves playing outside and going for walks with her mom, but it’s scary to even let her out to do that. I want to see pit bulls and bulldogs banned from the village.”

Linda Hanna was treated at Fort Simpson’s health centre for her injuries. Photo: Sean Whelly
The aftermath of the incident. Photo: Sean Whelly

Mayor Sean Whelly says that kind of ban is something he would consider.

“It’s possible, if public opinion started to go against these dogs,” Whelly said.


“When I’m sitting here with Linda and her husband, Bob, and listening to this, it’s like, something’s got to happen. It used to be a fairly rare occurrence to have pit bulls in town, but there seems to be a lot more of them, and this trend isn’t good.”

According to a Fort Simpson bylaw, any dog that has attacked another animal – or person – is deemed “vicious” and must be secured either indoors, in a locked pen outdoors, or muzzled and on a leash. If the dog is found to be in violation of those rules, the owner is liable to be fined up to $2,000 or imprisoned for up to six months.

Bylaw officers have the right to seize any dog found to be at large, and to kill any dog attacking another person or animal.

Asked what would happen in this case, Whelly said the attacking dog is in the village’s possession and a decision has not yet been made about its future. There is no current plan to penalize the animal’s owner.

“I don’t think any final decisions have been made as to what’s going to happen but, you know, I think there’s a lot of concern,” he said.

“It’s Linda who was attacked, but it’s the community who has to figure out what they want to do here. This is really a growing problem.

“I know people say it’s the dog owner, not the dog, but it’s the dog we can do something about.”