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Dog attacked by bear in Upstate

PICKENS COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) – A small dog in Pickens County is recovering after it was attacked along Pumpkintown Highway. The dog’s owner say it was the scariest thing she witnessed her de ella miniature schnauzer, whom she named Snuggie, endure.

It happened Monday night, Allyson Mauney says she went out to walk her dogs before going to work.

She also has a Labrador mix named Gracie.

Mauney says the dogs ran into the woods barking, “there was a scuffle that I heard in the leaves, and I continued to hear the scuffle. Then, I heard my schnauzer yelping.” She ran to her car the grab a flashlight. Once she got back, she saw a small bear.

“I saw a bear on top of my schnauzer,” Mauney said. “My lab ran out to protect me.”

The frantic pet owner tried to intervene but the closer she got, the bear lunged at her. Twice.

“I just stood there because I wasn’t going to leave my dog. I call him my son, they’re my children,” she explained. “I could feel its breath.”

Mauney was screaming the entire time “to the top fo my lungs.”

A friend tried to help rescue Snuggie, but the bear had taken him further into the woods. So, they decided to not investigate too much because it was dark and they weren’t sure how many bears were present.

However, the next morning, the Schnauzer was found alive.

“He was lying in a little patch of mud,” said Paul Chambers. “When he heard me coming and I started to talk, he lifted his head and that just blew me away.”

“Black bears are emerging from their dens and they’re coming out; and they’re very hungry, obviously. They haven’t eaten most of the winter,” said Greg Lucas from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

April and May are prime bear sighting months, especially in areas close to the mountains. Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee Counties are the most common places for the furry animal.

But surrounding counties shouldn’t let their guards down.

“We’re getting reports in some of the other Piedmont counties like Spartanburg, Anderson,” Lucas said.

During the interview with DNR, we learned that black bears are mostly calm in nature, shy, and can get along with human very well. As long as they’re not provoked.

If you do see a bear, you can report it to the DNR. For black bear emergencies, please call 1-800-922-5431 or 911.

Mauney and Chambers both have a strong appreciation for nature. They’ve seen bears on the property before and have never felt threatened.

The pet mom fears this attack was caused by her dog.

“The bear, I feel sure, was probably bitten by my dog ​​first,” she said.

Interactions the dogs and bears had last year is what caused her to wonder if something serious would ever happen.

“My dogs would chase it into the woods everyday; and I kept saying, one day they’re going to realize they’re bigger than you,” Mauney remembered.

She says Snuggie is paralyzed in his rear legs.

Safety tips from SC DNR

The SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) wants to remind South Carolinians to secure food attractants such as garbage, bird feeders, and pet food to prevent bears from stopping by. The most common human-bear conflicts involve unsecured food attractants.

The mere presence of a black bear does not necessarily represent a problem. Most bears are just passing through, but if there is an easy meal to be found, they will take advantage of it.

The key to dealing with wandering bears is not giving them a reason to hang around. Removing any food source that would attract bears will significantly reduce any bear issues in residential areas.

SCDNR offers these suggestions to better coexist with bears:

  • Birdfeed and feeders: If a bear starts getting into your bird feeders, take the feeders down and put them away for a while; the bear will move on quickly.
  • No-garbage: Keep garbage in tightly shut or bear-proof trash cans. Garbage left in the open, in an open dumpster, or in the back of a truck is an open invitation for a bear.
  • Pet food storage: Store pet food properly if kept outside. Put pet food in airtight storage containers, and don’t leave leftover food out in the open.
  • Clean grills: Keep charcoal and gas grills covered and clean to keep food odors from attracting bears.
  • Beehives: If you’re going to have beehives in bear territory, protect your investment with an electric, bear-proof fence.
  • No feeding: A bear that becomes accustomed to having food provided is an accident waiting to happen. Feeding bears promote nuisance behavior.
  • Keep wildlife wild. NEVER approach a bear for any reason, especially for a photo. Bears can defend themselves. Give bears their space and they will move on.

If you are camping in bear territory, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep a clean camp at all times. Keep tents and sleeping bags free of food.
  • Hang all food, trash, and other odorous items well away from camp and at least 10 feet above ground and 4 feet from any vertical support, or store in a bear-proof container.

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