Deer attack in Bountiful kills family’s pet

Oct 9, 2022, 4:10 PM | Updated: 4:37 pm

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — A couple said a deer attacked their dog Sunday last week, leaving significant enough internal injuries for the pet to be put down.

Lacey Randall said Thursday evening, her 15-year-old dachshund, Bella, was out front briefly when she and her husband, Matt Unrein, started to hear a disconcerting noise coming from that direction.

“All of a sudden, we heard her yelping and yelping and crying and crying,” Randall said.

She said Unrein walked out front to find a deer on the attack.

“(Bella) was laying on her back, kind of in the defense mode, and the deer’s hooves were up and hitting, up and hitting,” Randall described.

A doorbell camera didn’t capture the attack but was recording as the deer apparently sized up the dog.

Bella and the wild deer in the front year. (Courtesy: Lacey Randall & Matt Unrein)

Randall said the 15-year-old pet was never the same after the attack.

“(She) woke up the next morning, and she was struggling to walk,” Randall said. “Her leg would kind of twist out, and she would yelp and turn.”

Randall said she took Bella to the veterinarian Friday afternoon, and the vet recommended the dog be euthanized due to surgery being likely and the probability the dog would not survive the procedure due to her advanced age.

She said the family didn’t have much of a choice at that point.

“We just decided to bury her here in our backyard so she could just be with us,” Randall said. “It’s just an emptiness now in the house because it feels like one of your kids is gone.”

The incident came on the heels of another publicized attack in Evanston, Wyoming, in which a camera captured a deer attacking a woman.

Evanston woman recovering in hospital after run in with buck

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesperson Faith Heaton Jolley said deer can become more aggressive during their mating season in the fall. She urges people to only admire from a distance and to make sure their dogs are leashed, so they don’t antagonize the deer.

She directs people to the Wild Aware Utah website’s online education program for additional guidance about deer.

Randall said she didn’t believe her dog even barked at the deer before getting viciously attacked.

She said she has lived on the street for 14 years and had seen numerous deer without experiencing something like this.

Randall also urged others to recognize that deer are ultimately wild animals.

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s sad that a deer took her life.”

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Deer attack in Bountiful kills family’s pet