SANDY, Utah — Pet owners in a Sandy neighborhood are sending out a warning after one dog was killed by deer and another was critically injured.
Residents of Dimple Dell Heights tell FOX 13 News that deer wandering around is common in the wintertime, but they’ve noticed an increase lately.
Dave Ross said on Thursday, deer attacked his shih tzu, Griz, in his backyard. Griz has six broken ribs and twenty staples holding his wound shut.
“They said he’s probably not going to make it. They recommended euthanasia,” said Ross. “When I came out, he was laying there, unable to move.”
A few days after Griz’s attack, Ross noticed deer in his neighbor, Ty Erickson’s yard. He called Erickson to warn him, but by evening it was too late.
“Came outside, it was kind of our last resort, and found him laying on the side of the house. You could tell he had been trampled,” said Erickson.
The Erickson family’s Yorkie poo, Tigz, did not survive his injuries.
“He’s our world. We always joked around that he was a human, and I think most people would tell you that about their animal,” he said.
There’s a fence surrounding the entirety of Erickson and Ross’s backyard. Still, the deer hop over.
“We’re guessing either coming out of the doggy door or coming back in they had a confrontation in a narrow area and that was it for him,” said Erickson.
The Division of Wildlife Resources tells FOX 13 News it could be a doe protecting her fawn.
Both Erickson and Ross have reached out to the City of Sandy and DWR. Ross shared his story to the city council at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“Dogs generally frighten off deer. That’s why this recent thing with the small dog up in Dimple Dell is kind of rare. We don’t see that very often,” said Sgt. Greg Moffitt with the Sandy Police Department. The city’s animal services division falls under the department.
Ross said he recently had a stare-down with the deer in his backyard, and it took a long time for the creature to finally run off. The two neighbors are at a loss of what to do next.
Euthanasia and relocation doesn’t fall under Sandy’s animal services division, according to Moffitt.
The Division of Wildlife Resources said they could consider euthanasia if the deer become “overly aggressive.”
Erickson and Ross hope their neighbors now know the risks of the wildlife wandering on their property.
“I do hear a lot of people, ‘Oh, they’re so cute, I love to see them graze in my backyard,’” said Erickson. “And that’s what most of us think, but now when you start hearing this, it only takes once.”
“[Deer] aren’t the sweet little things that we think they are,” said Ross.
The Division of Wildlife Resources is advising Utahns to keep space from deer and to not feed the animals. The City of Sandy has an ordinance that prohibits people from feeding them.