A family’s two St. Bernards are recovering following a suspected cougar attack Saturday morning.
“It’s just awful…it was like a blood bath,” said Eliza Hay. “They (dogs) finally ate last night, but I’m still pretty worried about Melody. She’s still pretty quiet.”
Hay and her husband Andrew live on Charstate Drive, just a few blocks away from the Beaver Lodge Lands where cougars often roam.
According to Hay, her mother Sian Thompson was at their home on Saturday morning and had let the dogs out around 8 a.m. to “do their business.” The dogs, Melody, 7, and Phoenix, 6, were outside for about an hour when Thompson saw them cowering in the far corner of the yard.
The normally friendly St. Bernards were shaking and bleeding profusely. The dogs suffered lacerations to their front and hind quarters, and Melody got the worst of the attack.
The dogs were taken to the nearby Dogwood Veterinary Hospital where the Hays were told, by the vet, that the deep, fang-like lacerations suggested a cougar attack.
“He said this wasn’t the result of two dogs fighting, but of a large animal that does this for a living,” said Hay.
The dogs were treated and sent back home to recover, but Melody’s condition was “touch and go” and she still may require surgery.
Afterwards, the Hays alerted their neighbours to a possible cougar roaming in the area. It’s worrisome for families, she said, because no one heard anything – no growling or barking – and the cougar went after large dogs, not small pets which is usually the case.
On Tuesday morning a conservation officer visited the Hay residence to further investigate. It’s unknown if there have been any other attacks or cougar sightings in the area.