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Woman charged in Toronto dog attack previously deemed ‘irresponsible’ pet owner

A Toronto woman facing multiple charges in a dog attack that seriously injured a child was previously deemed an “irresponsible” owner of dangerous dogs and subsequently ordered evicted from her apartment, according to court records and her former landlord.

Patrycja Siarek, 38, was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and other offences after an off-leash dog bit and dragged a child at a Toronto park last Saturday.

Police have said the attack left the child with life-altering injuries.

Court documents show that Siarek and a man she lived with were the subject of multiple complaints at a Toronto condominium building after one of their dogs “viciously attacked” and injured another resident and her dog in December 2021.

The two American pocket bullies were labelled “dangerous” by the city and ordered to be kept muzzled in public areas, but those orders were not followed, court heard.

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The condominium corporation ultimately asked for a court order that Siarek and her partner permanently remove their dogs from the building because the way they handled the animals “made them a danger and likely to cause injury to other residents, staff, and visitors in the building,” court records show.

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The Ontario Superior Court judge who oversaw the case said Siarek and her partner ignored orders to muzzle their pets, allowed the dogs to roam the halls of the building unattended and “have shown themselves to be irresponsible dog owners.”

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Even after an order was issued compelling the dogs’ removal from the building, there was evidence suggesting the pocket bullies were still being kept in the condo, the judge wrote. In a March 2022 decision, the judge ruled that Siarek and her co-tenant’s lease should be terminated and that they must vacate the apartment.

Siarek’s former landlord, Sabita Singh, said that ruling was the culmination of her lengthy and frustrating attempts to get the dogs out of the building and regain control of her condo.

Before the case landed in Superior Court, Singh said she unsuccessfully tried to get the tenants evicted through the Landlord and Tenant Board. She also said multiple residents of the condo building had contacted the city to report Siarek’s dogs but no real action to remove the animals was taken until a court order was issued.

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Even then, court records show, animal control officers gave the dogs back to Siarek instead of confiscating them. Even though the dogs were no longer allowed to be in the building, Siarek and her partner brought them back to the condo, Singh said.

Singh said the dog that attacked the child in the park on Saturday looks a lot like Capo, one of the two dogs that Siarek kept in her condo.

She said she was “heartbroken” when she heard about the child’s injuries.

“That child is permanently damaged from this attack and I just feel so badly for the poor little boy and his family,” she said. “And it could have been avoided.”

Police said the dog was seized and handed over to Toronto Animal Services.

The charges against Siarek stemming from that incident have not been tested in court. A Toronto courthouse where Siarek made an appearance on Monday said there is no defence lawyer listed for the case.

&© 2024 The Canadian Press

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