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Dog attack in Potton: “They ate me, devoured me alive”

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The lawsuit was brought by Dominique Alain and her partner Leo Joy. (Archive photo)


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The Civil trial brought by Dominique Alain and her partner Leo Joy opened Monday morning at the Cowansville courthouse, with poignant testimony from the plaintiff.

Recall that the latter was attacked and seriously injured by three dogs in March 2019 while she was jogging on the way to the airport in Potton. She underwent 13 surgeries, spent more than 12 months in physical rehabilitation and 22 months in psychological follow-up.

Over the next few days, she will attempt to demonstrate that the dogs' owner, Alan Barnes, the company that owns the places where the attack took place, GF Food Equipment, and the Municipality of Potton Township are responsible for what happened to him. In total, she and her partner are asking for $676,000.

Dominique Alain is the first to tell her version of the facts in this story. On Monday, she began by explaining that she was in great physical and mental shape before the events. She also recounted, with great emotion at times, the violence of the attack, which she described as “carnage”.

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They ate me, devoured me alive, bit me everywhere.

A quote from Dominique Alain during his testimony

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">I heard [a] whistle, the dogs left, I tried to get up, I wasn't able. I got on the ground. I thought I was going to die, she added.

She also recounted her extremely painful time in the hospital, where she had to undergo major back surgery and skin grafts. She maintained that her daily life was completely disrupted by the events.

In particular, she can no longer lift weights with her left hand and she no longer has any muscles in her left calf, whereas she used to have “cyclist's calves”. My right leg is worse, she pointed out.

She has to deal with constant chronic pain in her ankles, and cannot work more than 15 hours per week due to headaches and an inability to concentrate for long periods of time. I tire. After 2 hours on a computer, I am no longer able, she says, adding that she has suffered a considerable loss of income.

I'm trying to remind myself that I'm still lucky, I'm not dead. But it's difficult to live with the body I have. I can't accept it.

A quote from Dominique Alain during his testimony

The impacts are also psychological. Before the events, she described herself as a very sporty woman, who stopped at nothing and who loved her life.

When I walk with my dog, I walk with a pepper spray and a whistle around my neck. I'm not sure. I always have this ulterior motive, she emphasizes now.

The trial is scheduled to last five days. Over the next week, the plaintiff will call 13 witnesses.

Only the Municipality of Potton Township will present a defense, calling four witnesses to the stand.

According to the lawsuit, the Municipality had been informed of the presence of aggressive dogs on the premises of the &#x27 ;attack. Dominique Alain received a list of 13 victims of these same dogs from an investigator who must testify. Ms. Alain believes that the canton should have taken reasonable measures to ensure the safety of its citizens.

The owner of the dogs, Alan Barnes, has already been sentenced to six months in prison less a day, 240 hours of community service and a lifetime ban on owning a dog. He pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing harm. His dogs were euthanized.

A doctor and Dominique Alain's partner, Leo Joy, are due to testify on Tuesday.

With information from Marie-Hélène Rousseau

Dangerous dogs: Dominique Alain wonders if municipalities will be able to do enough

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116