‘He could’ve died’: Toddler recovering after Gatineau pit bull attack


A two-year-old boy is recovering after being attacked Friday evening in Gatineau, Que., by a pit bull.


Hugo Giroux was inside his stroller on Rue des Forages in the city’s Aylmer sector when, at around 6:30 p.m., the dog appeared “suddenly out of nowhere,” his mother Cléothilde Lefebvre told Radio-Canada.

I grabbed the dog, pulled him away … and then I screamed my lungs out.– Cléothilde Lefebvre

The dog ran up to the stroller, she said, and began to bite her son.

“I grabbed the dog, pulled him away. And then the dog kind of attacked again,” Lefebvre said.

“I took the dog, pulled him down, sat on it … and then I screamed my lungs out.”

Hugo was bleeding from his upper lip, had “a hole in his cheek” and bruises all over his left arm, she said.

Hugo Giroux, 2, suffered injuries to his face and arm after being attacked by a dog Friday evening, in Gatineau’s Aylmer sector. (Giroux family)

“I was shocked that something so random could happen like that,” Lefebvre said, adding it was possible the dog may have bolted from a nearby backyard.

“I was of course [also] completely worried about my son. He could’ve lost an eye. He could’ve lost his arm. He could’ve died.”

Her son received stitches that night in hospital, Lefebvre said, and is now recovering at home.

City to review dog bylaw

Both the family and the Gatineau Police Service have identified the dog as a pit bull. Gatineau police say they’re investigating the attack.

The City of Gatineau has a bylaw on potentially dangerous dogs that requires owners to — among other things — ensure their animals are restrained with a leash and are muzzled when outside their enclosure.

The bylaw covers pit bulls, along with dogs bearing similar physical characteristics.

Aylmer Coun. Audrey Bureau said the city already has plans to review that bylaw in the fall.

“We send our support to the family,” Bureau told Radio-Canada. “It’s very unfortunate that this happened in our [city].”

The dog is now in the custody of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.