Photo Credit: Sebastian Condrea / Getty Images
As a dog parent, you’re likely prepared for many things that could befall your pup, from fleas and ticks to allergies and injuries. But one threat you probably don’t think about often is bears. As a recent incident in Goffstown, New Hampshire, shows, however, you might want to be on the lookout for them if you live near a wooded area. That’s because a dog named Toby recently suffered a horrific bear attack. Thankfully, he lived for his parent to tell the cautionary tale.
It all went down on Saturday night, when a bear and two cubs emerged from a wooded area near the dog’s backyard, apparently to do some dumpster diving in the home’s garbage cans.
“I heard this rustling and growling and stuff so I walked up towards here to see what it was and…something confronted me,” dog dad Jim Hurley told WMUR 9 News.
The bears attacked Hurley and Toby. Hurley got out with a few bruises and scratches, but Toby had to be hospitalized at Rockingham Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Windham. Toby appears to have two large lacerations across his back and suffered severe bleeding. The vet bill has topped $5,000.
“But I’m looking toward the quality of life…and that’s what comes first,” Hurley said. “My focus is him.”
How Likely Is a Bear Attack?
Fish and Game Department officials said the bear likely felt threatened and was protecting her young.
“The bears, just like with any other animal, once they get to an area they’re being fed constantly they become territorial, so they will try to protect that,” Lt. Adam Cheney with Fish and Game told WMUR 9 News.
Fish and Game said a bear attack like this is rare. However, residents have been warned not to leave food outside their homes because it’s a magnet for hungry mammals. Even bird feeders should be avoided.
As for Toby, he should be able to return home soon. And hopefully, the next time his dad decides to investigate a suspicious noise outside, he’ll leave Toby indoors!