Casey the dog narrowly survived her encounter with a juvenile cougar. (Submitted photo)

Casey the dog narrowly survived her encounter with a juvenile cougar. (Submitted photo)

Pair of dogs survive cougar attack near Takala Road

Conservation Officer Service says the attack was a rare and isolated occurrence

On October 22, Mary Carr’s two dogs, Casey and Jojo were attacked by a juvenile cougar on her 50 acre property on Takala Road. Carr and a friend intervened right as the cougar was poised over Casey.

“The cougar was scared off when they saw a person, and heard us calling for Casey,” Carr said.

Carr rushed the dogs to Chase River Animal Hospital. Jojo was treated for relatively minor wounds, but Casey had to be treated at Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Vancouver. She underwent an eight hour surgery to remove a bone fragment from her brain. One of her eyes was removed as well.

“I thought Casey was dead, and we were lucky that Jojo wasn’t, but when she showed signs of life we just went for it. It’s been a surprise for everybody, even the vets, they don’t know of any dogs that have survived a cougar attack,” Carr said.

The Carr’s are ecstatic that Casey is expected to recover; however, the family incurred $30,000 in vet bills for her life saving care.

“We racked up our credit cards to the limit to the point that when we were coming back from Langley… we realized we didn’t account for the ferry trip back and we needed money for the ferries,” Carr said. “It was only $90, but we limited out our accounts. We scraped together whatever we could just to get on the ferry.”

A GoFundMe was set up by the Carr family to cover a portion of the expenses. As of Tuesday, November 10, it has reached $6,638 of its $10,000 goal.

“It’s getting up there. I was overwhelmed by the response. We’ve been getting donations from all over the world… Dog lovers from all over the world are seeing this, and they’ve been very supportive. It’s been heartwarming to see,” Carr said.

Conservation Officer, Robin Sano was called out to ‘destroy’ the cougar. Once cougars pose a threat to humans, the Conservation Officer Service has little choice but to shoot them. The Conservation Officer Service only destroys animals when they pose a risk to public safety.

“Because of the nature of the injuries on the animals, we determined it was in the best interest of public safety to hunt down that cat.”

Due to the rare nature of cougar attacks, Sano said that precautions like keeping animals under supervision in a fenced in area, and keeping animals on a leash can easily prevent cougar attacks.

“From a safety perspective there’s a few things: people should avoid walking alone, and should make noise when they’re walking. Pets should always be on leash and in control in the wilderness. A lot of our sightings are early morning, at dawn, or at dusk. So, avoid hiking or using trails with poor sight lines at dawn and dusk when the dangerous predators are most active.”

“If you encounter a cougar, keep calm, never run. If you have small children pick them up. Make yourself look as big as possible, and slowly back away while keeping in the cougar’s view.”

Sano suggests carrying an air horn or a bear spray scare away predators; however he said that clapping, making yourself large, and throwing rocks has proven to be the most effective method of deterring predators in his experience.

Cougars predominant food source is deer — which are abundant on Vancouver Island. As long as their food source remains intact, cougars should pose little risk to humans and their pets.

Sano said that the attack on Casey and Jojo was a rare and isolated incident.

“Cougars are very reclusive, they generally don’t want to be involved with people… but people need to remember we are in cougar and bear country.”

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read