Dog died after vicious deer attack

Woman’s dog dies after vicious deer attack

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A Minnesota woman’s dog died after a vicious deer attack that happened just outside her Shoreview home’s back door. According to Twin Cities Pioneer Press, the tragic encounter took place moments after Pepper, a miniature poodle, was let outside on the morning of June 3. His owner, Jill Wilson, hadn’t seen the doe who was standing in her yard.

What happened?

Wilson’s dog had encountered deer many times throughout his 14 years of life – typically, after barking at them, they ran away. This morning’s wildlife encounter was unlike any other. When Pepper started to bark, the deer launched a vicious attack – pummeling the little dog with her front legs.

Dog killed in deer attack

The attack continued

Pepper tried curling into a ball to escape the deer’s flailing hooves, but the attack continued. Wilson’s screams finally scared the deer away and she was able to scoop her dog up and rush him to a veterinarian.

Fatal injuries from the attack

Pepper was still alive, but he suffered horrific injuries, including broken ribs and paralysis. Humane euthanasia was the only option for Pepper and Wilson was forced to say good-bye.

Why the attack?

The deer likely had a fawn nearby who she was protecting; deer give birth in the spring and summer. Dog owners should keep their pets leashed in areas where deer are known to live – though a fatal deer attack is rare, it is not unheard of and can obviously end tragically.

(Pixabay free images and screenshot via Pioneer Press)

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7 replies
  1. Pamela Garlisch says:

    So sorry for Pepper! Maybe a little extra vigilance would have been better since deer have been spotted before?

  2. Barkley's Mom says:

    I can’t imagine witnessing this. Poor little Pepper didn’t have a chance. My sincere condolences to Jill Wilson, how were you to know a deer would do this. It’s been my experience as well the deer usually run when barked at.

    • Bunny Peters says:

      My experience too. Especially when in one’s own yard, by the door (I suppose a fully covered kennel run would protect a pet)…..

  3. pennysdachshunds says:

    My heart goes out to Ms. Wilson for her loss of Pepper.. we have numerous deer come on to our property in the winter months here along with our neighbor , who lost a cat in the same fashion several years back.. living in the country we know we share with the wild life and are watchful and cautious with our numerous pets. we have a chain link 4 foot fence that has been very successful in keeping the deer out of our front yard , as out dachshunds have no fear. Our Shepard Mix has an enclosed heated kennel that he stays in at night that is AKA approved and has a peaked top and waterproof tarp . To date no interactions have occurred with the Doe’s and their little ones who at times are in a band of 15 to 20 crossing from the hills behind us to lower pastures for forage when there is a lot of snow… I am a advocate of fencing out and we have been blessed to not have had such a tragic end of life , hopefully we never will. I hope Ms. Wilson will find common ground for safety if she gets another little companion… again I am so sorry for Pepper to have died .

  4. Adrienne says:

    So sorry for Pepper tragic death. I can’t imagine how Ms. Wilson felt watching her tiny dog get pummeled to death under the hooves of this deer. Yes, normally you can successfully scare them off but something triggered this doe to attack and probably because her fawn was nearby. Wish Ms. Wilson had been able to intervene and grab Pepper before all this physical damage was done to her, but that was not meant to be. Ms. Wilson had 14 years with Pepper and that makes this doubly hard to deal with. Hope her cherished memories of Pepper are a comfort to her.

  5. Marni Montanez says:

    That is so heartbreaking. I live in the woods of Arkansas and not only do deer frequent the property, eating plants and grass, but when my dog goes out with me he doesn’t bark at them or even try and get to know them. they are not a curiosity to him and in fact he is afraid of them as they are of him. Because he doesn’t bark at them or anything they have learned to not run and pretty much ignore them, but I still will always be out there with him whenever I let him outside. It is hard to live with wild life but we must learn. Dogs must be taught not to bark at them which is difficult since they protect the property. but it’s worth doing our best to teach them so that they stay safe


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