Bend Dog Attacked by Deer in Backyard
Romaine Village Resident Shaken by Encounter
Living in Central Oregon, you're likely to see deer roaming the streets and backyards, looking for food on a cold winter day.
But as docile as they might seem, one Bend woman's scary story shows there's more to the creatures than meets the eye.
Tiffany Rounds lives in Romaine Village, and is used to seeing deer out and about, though they'd never been in her small, fenced backyard before, "so I never worried about it being a problem."
But last week, the situation turned tragic, when a six-point buck and two does attacked Rounds' dog, Daisy, leaving her with serious injuries.
Rounds said the area has a large deer population that roam in and out of yards, "fun to watch and see," until last Thursday, when the three deer attacked. She said she'd gone inside to grab her camera and take a photo "of the enormous buck, when my dog ran out the door, barking at the deer that were in her territory."
Rounds said Monday the two does "immediately started beating her on with their hooves, and then the buck comes and tries to get her with his antlers -- this big ol' rack and this small dog."
"So now she's got two deer on her, and I'm yelling -- all I could do is yell," she said. "It happened so fast, I didn't know what to do or think."
As Rounds watched the attack in horror, she said the deer weren't just trying to hurt Daisy.
"They were trying to kill her, that's what they were trying to do," Rounds said.
Rounds said she worries about small children who play in the area, since she has some herself who play in the backyard.
"I'm just worried the deer are getting too comfortable around here, and I don't want it to happen to anyone else," she said.
Steven George, a biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Bend, said humans aren't really in danger of an attack -- but if there's a reason, they can go after dogs.
"The deer don't differentiate between whether it's a domestic dog or coyote," George said. "They see a dog as a predator to them. It's something that wants to hurt them, or even kill them. And so they're going to be fairly defensive, and they can be defensive to the point of being aggressive toward that animal."
George said attacks like this aren't an everyday occurrence, and happen maybe once a month. And, in in the fall, deer are less likely to be aggressive compared to the spring.
"This time of the year, it's usually a buck that's associated with any kind of attack, but not always," George said. "In the spring, it's more normal, typically, a doe or a doe with a fawn associated with it."
George said the most important thing people can do is keep their dogs on a leash.
"Typically, 99 percent of the time, when a dog gets injured, it's because it's not leashed --- and it takes off after the deer," George said.
If you do find yourself in a situation surrounded by deer, which is pretty rare, the best thing to do is back out --- and, George said, you can actually get a little aggressive with them.
"You could pick up rocks and throw it at them. Get a stick, to defend yourself," George added.
Daisy suffered a punctured chest cavity and head wounds, but the vet said she's expected to make a full recovery.
"She's a fighter --- I mean, not literally, but she's got a huge will to survive and make it," Rounds said. adding, "She's got a thick skull, and even thicker skin, and I think that probably saved her."
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