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Bear mauls, kills pet in Perry County

Updated: Tuesday, October 29 2013, 06:15 PM CDT
Reported by: Donna Kirker Morgan

NEWPORT -- A reminder to pet owners to take extra care after a bear killed a dog in Perry County last night.

CBS 21 talked with the pet's owners and they are quite upset.

The 9-year-old dog named Dakota is dead and they say it happened so quickly just outside their home in Miller Township.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is investigating, because the owner of the property shot at the bear and this is not hunting season.

"We are sensitive to cases like this where a pet was harmed. We are sympathetic for loss of their pet," said Travis Lau, a game commission spokesman.

The pet's owner lives right beside Pennsylvania game land and they know Miller Township, Perry County, is bear country so they usually walked outside when they let the dog out at night.

Within seconds of letting the dog out unattended, however, they heard a commotion and saw the bear chase, catch, and maul their dog. The homeowner fired twice but didn't hit the bear. They were unable to save the dog. 

"If livestock is being harmed, if crops are harmed, that's justification. Also there are provisions in federal laws for protection of property," Lau explained.

As they work through those questions, the game commission reminds pet owners that bears are on the move right now looking for food to prepare for hibernation.

So before you let your pet out at night, turn the outdoor lights on, make some noise, and you may want to take down bird feeders that draw bears in from the wilderness to your yard.

Experts say often times when a bear come to your back yard there is a food source -- a gas grill, bird feeder, or garbage.

There are cases where protecting your animals would not be justified, however. That would be shooting at a bear that is not threatening the animal or you.
Bear mauls, kills pet in Perry County

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