Saanich Police have issued a warning to pet owners after a cougar attacked and injured a dog on Saturday.
Police say just before 6 p.m. a resident in the 5900-block of Wallace Drive, around the area of Heals Rifle Range, was in the yard with their dog. The dog then wandered into a thick bush area and a short time later the owner heard the dog in distress.
It turns out a cougar had attacked the dog and was trying to leave the property with the family pet. Luckily, the dog was able to get free and ran back to its owners.
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Police say the dog has undergone at least one surgery so far and will likely need more. The dog is expected to survive.
The cougar was last seen heading in the direction of the Heals Rifle Range, which is in close proximity to Gowland Tod Provincial Park and the Mount Work Regional Park (Durrance Lake).
The BC Conservation Officer Service has been advised and are aware of this incident. Police say there have been no other incidents like this one reported.
“It does not appear that the animal in question was actively hunting,” said Sgt. Steve Eassie. “Instead, it would appear that the cougar was confronted by the dog, and simply attempted to seize the opportunity of a relatively simple food source”.
WATCH: In July, 2015, a Vancouver Island man says he had no choice but to a shoot a cougar that snatched his dog near Ucluelet. As Kylie Stanton reports, before he used his shotgun, Shawn Hanson did something that might surprise you to rescue his dog from the cougar’s jaws.