Calgary police and Animal & Bylaw Services are investigating a late morning dog bite in the northwest community of Ranchlands that sent a young boy to hospital.

EMS spokesperson Stuart Brideaux says a paramedic crew responded to a location in the 6900 block of Ranchero Road Northwest at approximately noon following reports a child had been injured by a dog.

A five-year-old boy, suffering from significant, soft tissue injuries to his face, was transported by ambulance to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in serious but stable condition.

According to neighbours, a family of five resides inside the home but the victim is believed to have been a visitor. The family's dog is believed to be a Rottweiler-cross and neighbours consider the dog to be 'nice and gentle'.

Animal & Bylaw Services says the number of reported serious dog bites in Calgary continues to rise, a trend suspected to be the result of improved reporting and community awareness and not an increase in actual bites.

The City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services assesses the severity of dog bites on a scale of one through six.

Level 1

Dog growls, lunges, snarls-no teeth touch skin. 

Mostly intimidation / threatening behaviour

Level 2

Teeth touch skin but no puncture. May have red mark/minor bruise from dog’s head or snout, may have minor scratches from paws/nails. Minor surface abrasions or lacerations.

Level 3

Punctures one to three holes, single bite. No tearing or slashes. Victim not shaken side to side. Bruising

Level 3.5

Multiple level 3 bites.

Level 4

Two to four holes from a single bite, typically contact/punctures from more than canines, considerable bruising. Black bruising, tears and/or slashing wounds. Dogclamped down and held and /or shook head from side to side.

Level 5

Multiple bites at Level 4 or above. A concerted, repeated attack causing severe injury.

Level 6

Any bite resulting in death of a animal

In Calgary in 2014, there were 244 dog bites of a Level 3 severity or higher. An increase from 2013, when 198 bites were reported at, or exceeding, Level 3.