'The light of all our lives:' Six-year-old Saskatchewan boy dies in dog attack
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RICETON, Sask. — A Saskatchewan family says it has "lost the light" of their lives after a little boy was killed in a dog attack.
The six-year-old boy was found dead after RCMP and emergency medical personnel responded to a call Wednesday evening in Riceton, about 50 kilometres southeast of Regina.
Two large-breed dogs, reported to police to be Alaskan malemutes, were seized by the Regina Humane Society.
"The dogs were known to the deceased and his family," RCMP Staff Sgt. Rob Embree said Thursday in Regina.
"The circumstances of the incident are currently being investigated by Milestone RCMP. This includes investigation into what may have prompted the attack. It is unclear whether one or both dogs were involved."
Police wouldn't say who owned the dogs or release the name of the child but the boy has been identified on social media as Cameron Mushanski.
A GoFundMe page was started by the child's aunt to cover funeral expenses.
"As much as it breaks my heart to write this, our 6 year old nephew has passed away," wrote Cassandra-Marie Mushanski.
"A horrific, tragic accident happened tonight and he passed away. We are looking for help to give him the proper goodbye that he deserves to have to be taken so soon the way he was. We appreciate every dollar donated towards it. He was a wonderful, goofy, amazing little boy that didn't deserve to be taken so soon."
"We lost the light of all our lives, the glow that walked into the room and lit it up with just one word, taken and ripped right away as tragically as he was," Mushanski said in a post on her Facebook page.
She said the family has no further comment while it grieves.
Bill Thorn, with the Regina Humane Society, said two of the society's officers took custody of the dogs immediately after the little boy's death.
"Basically, ownership was transferred to us and, at the order of the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region, the animals were euthanized," Thorn said Thursday.
"They will be tested for rabies, which is fairly standard procedure in something like this, just to see if that or any other medical factor might have been a factor in what happened."
The Canadian Kennel Club says on its website that the Alaskan malemute is an affectionate and friendly dog, but definitely strong-willed. It says the malemute is patient with children, but should be supervised when playing with youngsters due to its size and strength.
A fully grown male malemute can weigh about 85 pounds.
In 2014, the same breed of dog was involved when a seven-year-old girl was mauled at a rural Manitoba home. She did not survive.
— By Jennifer Graham in Regina
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had Thursday.