3 Week Old Bucket Baby Dies During Dog Attack

I am heartbroken for this mother, who may have never been offered information about babywearing (as well as the risks of smoking around a newborn), and may have never heard that car seats belong in cars (period) and newborn babies belong on their mother's chest. She may have never known of the many detriments of leaving a baby in a bucket on the floor... And she is likely torn apart at the loss of her newborn and the charges now pending against her.

I am also broken for this little baby who lost his life simply because he was not in the protective habitat he was born into this world to gently reside in. In reviewing the book, Primal Mothering in a Modern World, Jody McLaughlin (editor of Compleat Mother Magazine) reminds us that, "When babies are born, they do not know what century it is, nor do they know on which continent they were born, nor the standards or rules of conduct imposed by outside influences. However, they DO know what they need." One of these basic needs is comfort, protection, and security near mother's breast. Please, if you haven't explored your many options for getting your baby up where s/he belongs, look into some of the amazing -- sometimes life saving -- choices you have for your little one. Babies truly are born to be worn.

As reported by Katherine Wilton, Max Harrold and Monique Muise for The Montreal Gazette

The mother of the three-week-old baby killed on Monday after being mauled by one or more dogs has been charged with manslaughter. She was released Monday afternoon but isn't allowed to be in charge of children under the age of 12 while awaiting trial.

The baby's grandmother was released Tuesday and will not face charges.

The 17-year-old's lawyer, André Williams, said he was very surprised by the manslaughter charge, which he said will be very difficult for the Crown to prove.

He said the Crown should have given the mother time to grieve the loss of her baby before proceeding with criminal charges against her.

"She's completely demolished," Williams told reporters outside the courtroom.

The baby’s 17-year-old mother and 37-year-old grandmother, had been smoking on a balcony close to their kitchen Monday, where the baby was seated in a portable car seat when the dogs attacked the child, André Williams, the 17-year-old's lawyer, said on Tuesday.

Police had confirmed Monday that the infant was pronounced dead inside a home in St. Barnabé Sud, a small community about 70 kilometres northeast of Montreal late in the afternoon.

The teenager, her boyfriend, the baby’s father, had moved into the house only a week ago, on June 1, Williams said. He was not on the property at the time of the attack. The two lived there with two other couples, one of which owns the home, he said. The second couple living with the baby’s mother and her boyfriend own two huskies, at least one of which mauled the 21-day-old child, police said.

At the time of the attack, there were four dogs in the house. The other two dogs, a husky-golden retriever mixed-breed dog and its puppy, were in a cage in the home at the time of the attack, Williams said. The caged dogs belonged to the 17-year-old and her boyfriend.

The mother of the baby was treated for shock at a hospital on Monday. She and her mother were taken into police custody on Monday night.

Guy Vaillancourt was across the street Monday night and was shaken by the tragedy that had unfolded only a few hundred metres away.

“I saw so many police cars, and I didn’t know what was happening,” he said, glancing at two SQ officers stationed at the end of his driveway. “But when they started talking about dogs, I knew right away which dogs they were talking about. My wife came outside one night not long ago after she heard them, thinking they were wild animals. They were two huskies, a male and a female.”

Vaillancourt said the dogs had escaped twice recently, but were not noticeably aggressive.

“I thought, they could cause an accident on the highway, running across that way. But not something like this.”

Neighbours said they were not aware of any newborn currently living in the home, and speculated that the child may have been visiting the residence.

But Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Ronald McInnis confirmed Tuesday morning that the 17-year-old and her baby did reside at the home and were roommates of the couple and their three boys. The late baby's grandmother, however, was only visiting the home when the attacks took place, he explained.

At the St. Hyacinthe courthouse Tuesday, several friends of the 17-year-old mother turned up to offer support.


  1. I would like to see a follow up to this story. I was horrified by the story when it happened and was shocked to find out that the mother was being charged with Manslaughter! Either there is more to the story than what was told or she doesn't deserve to be charged like that, in my opinion.

  2. Very sad story. I imagine she was charged with manslaughter for not properly protecting the baby. Animals are just that, animals, and should not be left alone around young children period and especially a newborn, who they are not yet accustomed to having in their environment. While I don't think she intended for her baby to be harmed, you have to admit that that is somewhat reckless on the mother's part.

  3. I agree, it was reckless, but I am not sure what charges would accomplish.

  4. Wow, was my first thoughts! It just goes to show how young immature minds think. To young be a smart mother. Its a terrible terrible loss! I send my condolences to the mother and family. I could never imagine the pain and guilt she must feel. Beio charged is ludacris. The pain and guilt for the rest of her life is just as bad as being locked up

  5. I agree that it was somewhat reckless on the mothers part...but I also have to argue that only 3 weeks postpartum she probably wasn't thinking with total clarity about it. I feel so bad that this has become a legal issue for her because I can say with confidence that losing your new baby (or any child) is the worst punishment a mother can recieve. And she already got that.

  6. There is one thing sticking for me. Did they not hear the baby screaming? One bite is enough, but it seems that might be what is leading to manslaughter charges.

  7. I wish this baby hadn't been called "bucket baby" in the title to this post... it seems to minimize his person-hood rather than identifying the circumstance of his death separate from his precious human identity.

  8. But the whole reason he died is because he was left in a bucket on the floor... Someplace he should not have been.

    "Bucket Baby" is an AAP-coined term for babies left sitting in their 'bucket seats' (car seats) when they are not in the car.

  9. I actually have to disagree that the mom was reckless in this situation. Should she be smoking... no. But seeing as she does smoke, she went outside, away from the baby, and left the baby secured in a car seat thinking he was safe. Smart? No. But HER dogs were caged... could she have thought her roommates' dogs were secured somewhere, too?

    I don't know - I feel really sorry for her.

    I'm a babywearing mama. We haven't ever even OWNED a bucket (we use convertibles), and we never left our kids alone with pets. This is a situation I can't even fathom - but I just don't think the mom was being reckless.

  10. This is so sad, including the way they treated the poor mother and grandmother! However what really upsets me is that nobody is talking about recalling all bucket carseats even though the research shows that carseats shouldn't be carried out of the car - instead the CPSC is trying to put the baby carrier industry our of business so that parents don't have safe, convenient ways to keep baby close!

  11. This is so sad, including the way they treated the poor mother and grandmother! However what really upsets me is that nobody is talking about recalling all bucket carseats even though the research shows that carseats shouldn't be carried out of the car - instead the CPSC is trying to put the baby carrier industry our of business so that parents don't have safe, convenient ways to keep baby close!

  12. Her age has nothing to do with it, I was 19 when I had my son and I was and still am a good, responsible mother!

    This mother should first off, not be smoking around her baby. She also should have been HOLDING her baby. Lastly, she should NOT have left her little baby anywhere near those dogs!

    I get so tired of people assuming that a teen mom is irresponsible. At 19 I had my son. I have since gotten married, bought my own house, completed my degree and also have an excellent career.

    It has nothing to do with age, it has everything to do with character.

    That poor baby.

  13. I love it that a 19-yr-old mother (the last Anon poster) is the one to point out ALL the problems here:

    1) She should not have been smoking with a baby - period (even the toxins exhaled after smoking impact babies health dramatically). If you are going to bring babies into this world, stop smoking.

    2) She should have been holding her NEWBORN baby, or having someone else hold him if he was awake, or if there were dogs in the house where they could enter the room where he was. Newborns belong in arms. Period.

    3) Never, ever leave a newborn alone - even if there are no animals around. We are talking about a 3 WEEK old baby here.

    I agree (while I am not a teenage mother) this is not about age so much as it is about experience, wisdom, education, and learning from good examples set by those around us. Maybe she had none of the above - and was just doing what was normal for her sub-culture. It is tragic - because she is surely 'paying' for this mistake simply by the loss of her baby.

    I also agree with others here who have pointed out that babies, too, have rights -- and maybe one of those is the right to not be left solo in a bucket seat while your mom goes out to smoke... Oh, how I wish carseats were permanently fixed into cars and made WITHOUT handles.

    So keep speaking up, Peaceful Parenting - maybe hearing of this tragedy will spare another mother and her baby of the same ending.

  14. Until this, I never realized how dangerous a "bucket" seat could be. I have had 3 kids, and have always kept my baby in it if they were sleeping.. As to not disturb them.. Now I am rethinking my choice on this. I feel bad that they are charging this mom for manslaughter.. that is crazy... yes, she made a bad decision, but I think her dealing with this tragedy is ENOUGH for her.. Its worse then any sentence she would receive. And what a sad thing for this baby.

  15. I had my first at 16 second at 18.

    Age has nothing to do with anything.

    I had natural births with both of them(on a HB), cloth diapers, breastfed, co-slept, wore them, etc.

    This mother made a mistake. Not many people know the dangers of leaving their baby in their seat. Heck not many people know carseat safety IN the car!

    From what it looks like she did take safety precautions to make sure the baby was safe. Would I have made the same one? No, then again I don't smoke either...



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