Deer tramples dog to death in Aberdeen
A Kamloops woman is warning pet owners to be careful with their animals after her dog was trampled to death by a deer in the backyard of her Aberdeen home.
“Deer are not these nice, friendly, docile creatures like you might think,” Tinia Hesketh said.
“You just don’t think about it until it’s right there, 10 feet in front of you.”
Hesketh said she let her six-year-old chihuahua-shih tzu, Moose, out in the backyard of her home on Laurel Place, just off Hugh Allan Drive, at about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16.
It was dark and she couldn’t see anything in the yard before the eight-pound dog ran out the door.
Moose spotted a deer, which had apparently climbed into Hesketh’s backyard from a green belt running behind the property.
Hesketh said Moose ran up to the deer and started barking.
“They startled each other, I guess,” she said.
“He [Moose] just started barking at her [the deer] and it pounced on him.”
Hesketh said she then called out to the dog.
“I was like, ‘Come on, Moose. Come on,’” she said.
Then the deer pounced on the dog again.
“I’m calling him like a madman, just screaming,” Hesketh said.
“It’s literally 10 feet away. And it wasn’t stopping — like, it was mad.
“I decided to see if I could grab something [to scare the deer]. I was like, ‘I’m going to get my dog.’”
Hesketh opened the patio door to look for something to use as a weapon.
When Moose — who had by that point been stomped on four times and was seriously injured — heard the door open, Hesketh said, he used all his strength to limp inside.
The dog ran and hid under the bed of Hesketh’s 10-year-old son, Kai.
“He wouldn’t come out,” she said. “He was kind of coughing and making funny noises.”
Hesketh and her son pulled the bed apart, removed Moose and called the vet.
“It was pretty sad,” she said.
“We were petting him and it was like, ‘It’s OK buddy,’ and his little tail was wagging.”
They rushed the animal to the Kamloops Veterinary Clinic.
Moose had no broken bones, but had a cut on his stomach and two large gouges on his back.
The doctor told Hesketh the animal might survive.
“The vet was optimistic,” she said.
“Then what it was, was the fluid in his lungs had built up and he never made it overnight.”
Kamloops conservation officer Tobe Sprado has never heard of a deer killing a dog in Kamloops, though similar attacks have occurred recently elsewhere in the province.
In June, a Cranbrook man captured video of a mother deer attacking a dog.
That dog did not suffer serious injuries.
Sprado said every wild animal has the potential for aggression.
“Every animal does, you bet,” he said.
“Especially if they feel threatened or cornered.”
Because Moose was killed in his owner’s backyard, Sprado called the incident “kind of unavoidable.”
But, he said, precautions can be taken by owners.
“If you’ve got your pets on a leash, then it should be a non-issue,” he said.
“But, if you have your pets off the leash, you would hope they’d have verbal commands they respond to.”
Hesketh said she doesn’t want another family to go through the trauma of losing their pet in a similar way.
“You’d never expect it,” she said.
“But people need to know.”
If you have concerns about a wild animal, call the B.C. Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.