Dog attack at Serena Gundy Park leads to arrest

A dog has been put in quarantine for 10 days and the owner hospitalized after a violent encounter with police in Leaside


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The couple in this photo are alleged to be the dog's owners.

A 24-year-old man from Leaside was arrested last week after an animal services investigation into his dog—accused of killing a 10-week-old puppy and injuring a 12-year-old girl—turned violent. The man sustained a serious injury during the encounter and Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), is investigating. 

On May 11, animal control staff attended a residence near Brentcliffe Road and Eglinton Avenue East after receiving reports of an aggressive dog in the area. The Toronto Police Service (TPS) was called to assist and an altercation ensued between the dog’s owner and an attending officer. 

Monica Hudon, spokesperson for the SIU, said the man was taken to hospital for treatment for a serious injury following the arrest and an investigation is underway.

“At this time, two investigators and one forensic investigator have been assigned to this incident,” Hudon said. 

According to Caroline de Kloet, media relations officer with TPS, the dog’s owner has been identified as Jean-Luc Bertram, 24, of Toronto. De Kloet said Bertram was charged with assaulting a peace officer causing bodily harm, disarming a police officer, uttering threats of bodily harm or death and failing to comply with recognizance. 

“The dog is with animal services and it is in quarantine for 10 days.” 

Toronto Animal Services also seized the dog in question. 

“The dog is with animal services and it is in quarantine for 10 days,” said Tammy Robinson, media contact for the city's municipal licensing and standards division. “That is the normal procedure.”

Charges will be issued under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act and penalties, fines and outcomes are to be determined by the courts.

Animal services were led to the residence after receiving reports that the dog had killed a Leaside family’s puppy, Cleo, and injured a young girl.

Lana Novikova said her family was attacked by a white dog that looked like an American Bulldog at Serena Gundy Park on May 9. Novikova said she was out for a stroll with her boyfriend, her daughter, their puppy, and their five-year-old Cockapoo, Cooper, when they came upon another couple walking their dog. Novikova said the dog originally went after her eldest dog, Cooper, before turning on her daughter who was holding the puppy nearby. 

“He grabbed the puppy, and shook the puppy. My daughter got scratched pretty badly, and the puppy died of a broken neck,” Novikova said.

Her daughter sustained a deep scratch on her arm that required five stitches and Novikova claimed the dog’s apparent owners, a man and woman, did nothing to intervene. The family shared their experience on social media, prompting community members to help try to identify the couple, and the family notified animal services. 

Bertram is scheduled to appear in court on May 18 at 9:30 a.m.

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