Furious over festival fiasco

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 7:15 p.m.

The owner of CannaFest said he wasn’t informed about a woman being bit by a dog on festival grounds and wants to extend an apology to her.

Kimberly Slater said a border collie, that was on a leash at the festival’s camp grounds, lunged at her and bit her.

Slater was left with three puncture wounds in her leg and was frustrated by the lack of response from first-aid staff at the festival.

But festival owner Chuck Varabioff said the first he heard of it was Wednesday morning.

“I was super surprised to hear today that it happened,” he said. “It is unfortunate it did happen."

Varabioff said he wants to extend an apology to her and wants to offer her a couple of tickets for next year.

“I know it won’t get rid of the pain or suffering she is going through but, as the CannaFest owner I would like to offer her something,” he said.

He added that himself, the dog owners and Slater can learn from this.

“Nobody brought this to my attention and I wish they would have, because I am never too busy to deal with situations like this, ever,” he said.

For the festival, St. John Ambulance staff are hired, but not on the camp grounds.

“We don’t provide first aid service in the camp grounds, but seeing this happened it might be an idea for next year to have a first aid booth right in the campground,” he said.

Varabioff added that each year is a learning experience for the next year.

ORIGINAL: 5 a.m.

A Kelowna woman was left with three puncture wounds in her leg after a dog attack over the weekend.

But she says staff at the CannaFest Music Festival in Grand Forks didn’t take her injuries seriously.

Kimberly Slater was enjoying the show when she noticed a border collie leashed to a fence in the campsite area of the festival. Being a dog lover, she asked if she could bring it a treat.

“I went to leave, and the dog lunged and bit me,” she said. “There are three puncture wounds, and I had to get a tetanus shot.”

She didn’t realize what happened until she saw blood running down her leg.

The owners were shocked and very apologetic. Slater said the two-year-old dog had to be muzzled. But what made Slater so upset was what happened next.

“The first-aid attendant wasn’t wearing any gloves, there weren’t any in the first aid kit,” she said. “She tried to put a bandage on with really dirty hands.”

Slater was disgusted and called dog control and an ambulance to take herself to the hospital.

When she tried to reach out to event organizers, she was told they were too busy.

“I just wanted to let him know about his staff and that thank god nothing else happened,” she said. “What if it was a kid that got bit? It could have been a lot worse.”

Slater hopes future staff get properly trained and points out the need for proper first aid staff at the campground.

On the website for the festival, it says no dogs are allowed.

“There should have been something in place to have that first-aid attendant better equipped,” said Slater.

Castanet has reached out to organizers for comment on the incident.

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