‘I would have never let him go’: Mother of boy killed by dogs in Edmonton shares grief

Kendrah Wong should be planning her son’s birthday party. He was supposed to turn 12 on May 8. Instead, Wong is preparing a funeral for her only child after he was killed by two large dogs Monday in Edmonton.

Wong and her son Kache Grist had moved to Osoyoos in November to get a fresh start.

Her 11-year-old boy wanted to return to Edmonton for spring break to spend nine days with his father.

Global News has learned Kache’s father’s roommate was the owner of two Cane Corso dogs.

Wong says Kache was one hour away from being picked up to go back to Osoyoos when the dogs attacked him while he was inside his father’s home.

“He was adventurous, courageous, strong, beautiful. He had a heart of gold,” Wong told Global News Thursday.

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“He was so polite and he was loved by everybody. And he didn’t deserve what happened to him.”

Wong says Kache would pick sage from the nearby hills, bundle it and bring it to a local store that would sell it for him, giving him spending money for his hobbies.

“He liked writing comics, he liked The Walking Dead, it was his favourite. I just took him on my birthday to the Fan Expo so that he could meet them, a couple of the characters.”

The Grade 5 student also loved video games and spaghetti.

Kache Grist is pictured with actor Abraham Ford at a Fan Expo. Supplied/Kendrah Wong

There had been multiple complaints about the dogs, including two reports of attacks this year alone.

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The City of Edmonton confirms one of those attacks is still under investigation.

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“If I would have known, I would have never let him go,” Wong said, adding she is shocked at what happened.

“I’m beside myself because I let my kid go for spring break with his dad and he’s never going to come home.”

The Edmonton Police Service is continuing its investigation. In a news release Thursday, police said an autopsy on the boy has been completed and the cause of the boy’s death was confirmed to be a dog bite.

The news release said the manner of death is pending further investigation.

The medical examiner can classify manner of death as natural, accidental, homicide, suicide or undetermined.

Click to play video: '11-year-old boy dies at south Edmonton home where other dog attacks recently occurred'

11-year-old boy dies at south Edmonton home where other dog attacks recently occurred

An Edmonton personal injury lawyer says, in general, animal owners are liable for the actions of their pets.

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Depending on the situation, Kamila Surkont says if your animal hurts someone, the owner could face criminal charges.

“If there were prior complaints about the dog, you may have a higher negligence, right?” said the James H. Brown lawyer.

“There might be more negligence on you, and at that point, you can be held accountable for it.”

Surkont says anyone who is injured by an animal can connect with a personal injury lawyer for advice and help and anyone whose pet injures someone might have coverage through their home insurance.

Kache Grist with his mother Kendrah Wong.
Kache Grist with his mother Kendrah Wong. Supplied/Kendrah Wong

As the police investigation continues, the community is rallying around Kache’s family.

The Canadian Brewhouse on Ellerslie Road, just blocks from where the attack happened, has already reached out.

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“I think the key is for us to just open up the doors and see what we can do to support. If there was a fundraiser being held or just the family getting together, we’ve got the space to do it,” Jamil Kara said Thursday.

A GoFundMe has also been started to help the family with funeral costs and other expenses.

Wong says she will need all the support she can get going forward.

“The last thing I said to him was:  ‘Come here, buddy. I feel like I’m never going to see you again. Come give mom a hug,’” Wong said through tears.

“He came and gave me five hugs, three kisses and told me he loved me.”

Both dogs remain in custody of the City of Edmonton’s Animal Care and Control section.

With files from The Canadian Press

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