Kaity Brown/Townsman Staff
Marilyn Wheeler, a resident of the Blackbear Crescent area in Kimberley, had only let the dog out for a brief moment but that’s all it took.
A deer with fawn was in the area and trampled on Dolly, a terrier who belonged to Wheeler’s son and who she was watching for a few days. The attack happened on Wednesday, June 12 at around 9 a.m.
“We let it out and unbeknownst there was a deer there. I guess the dog must have seen the deer and so the deer got up and stomped on one of the dogs.”
This particular deer was with a fawn, a common sight this time of year.
“People across the way told us. They came out to help to get the deer away from the little dog. They told us that it had fawns.”
Wheeler said that she is worried about the community’s mentality of, “Oh, it’s just a deer,” and wants to remind pet owners and citizens alike that the deer and fawn are a danger to everyone – not just pets.
Wheeler lives with her 82-year-old mother and said she was concerned not only for the dog, but for herself and her mother.
“It’s a danger and that’s all there is to it.
“I just want it to be known because it is a pretty dangerous thing. We have kids and people and everything around and it’s pretty bad.”
Recently a trial deer-hazing test was conducted, involving trained dogs who herded some deer out of town. The pilot project was a success but it is still under discussion over whether this would be a good option.
Mayor Ron McRae said that whether the program would continue was up to provincial government. Now that the election is over, attention will be paid to issues like these, he said.
“I want something done. I heard of this dog hazing and I’m hoping the conservation can help us out with that,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler also wants the community to remember that deer are not afraid, they stand their ground and they will come right up to people.
“Even if you do have your dog on a leash, you’re still not safe.”
Dolly is recuperating from her wounds at a vet clinic and her condition is improving.
However, Wheeler said that the conservation officer got back to her and that someone would be in town Thursday because another deer attack was reported.
“There was another attack in a neighbourhood fairly close to our neighbourhood,” Wheeler said. “There was another dog that was attacked. This dog was in a fenced yard. The deer jumped the fence, attacked the dog and then went back out. If you can imagine that.
“They were wondering if it was associated – if it was maybe the same deer.”
Conservation Officer Jeff Scott of Cranbrook confirmed that there were three deer attacks in a span of only a few hours, he said. The deer attacks were all separate accounts – does with fawns are over-protective, aggressively so, at this time of year.
Not only did Marilyn have her son’s dog attacked, but in fact, a deer did kick a dog that was in a fenced yard. Scott confirmed that the dog did not need to be taken to the vet and that he was only kicked.
However, a third deer attack was reported, as well, where a woman was walking her dog and the deer had fawns with her and tried to attack the dog.
The C.O. said he was still in the process of getting in contact with that woman for more details about the situation.
“It is a good idea for people to carry any kind of noise maker or a walking stick with them,” explained Scott, a strategy for locals to protect themselves against the over-protective doe.
The solution is educating the locals about taking precautions seriously, explained the C.O.
The C.O. also reminds people that they should be alert for does and fawns because typically at this time of year there are at least a few dogs who get attacked by deer in Kimberley and Cranbrook.