One dog killed, another seriously injured by deer attack in Sandy

SANDY, Utah — Pet owners in a Sandy neighborhood are sending out a warning after a dog was killed by a deer and another was seriously injured.

Residents of Dimple Dell Heights tell FOX 13 News that stray deer are common in the winter, but they’ve noticed an increase lately.

Dave Ross said on Thursday the deer attacked his shih tzu, Griz, in his backyard. Griz has six broken ribs and twenty staples holding his wound closed.

“They said he probably wasn’t going to make it. They recommended euthanasia,” Ross said. “When I came out, he was lying there, unable to move.”

A few days after Griz’s attack, Ross noticed deer in the yard of his neighbor, Ty Erickson. He called Erickson to warn him, but by evening it was too late.

“I got out, it was sort of our last resort, and found him lying on the side of the house. You could tell he had been stepped on,” Erickson said.

The Erickson family’s poo Yorkie, Tigz, did not survive his injuries.

“He is our world. We always joked that he was human, and I think most people would tell you that about their animal,” he said.

There is a fence surrounding the entire garden of Erickson and Ross. Yet the deer hops.

“We’re guessing either coming out of the dog door or coming back they had a confrontation in a tight area and that was it for him,” Erickson said.

The Division of Wildlife Resources told FOX 13 News it could be a doe protecting her fawn.

Both Erickson and Ross contacted the town of Sandy and DWR. Ross told his story to the city council at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“Dogs usually scare away deer. Which is why this recent thing with Dimple Dell’s little dog is pretty 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 stared at the deer in his backyard and it took a long time for the creature to finally run away. The two neighbors don’t know what to do.

Euthanasia and relocation are outside of Sandy’s animal services division, according to Moffitt.

The Wildlife Resources Division said it may consider euthanasia if the deer become “too aggressive”.

Erickson and Ross hope their neighbors are now aware of the risks of wildlife wandering onto their property.

“I hear a lot of people, ‘Oh, they’re so cute, I love seeing them grazing in my garden,'” Erickson said. “And that’s what most of us think, but now when you start hearing that, it only takes one time.”

“[Deer] aren’t the adorable little things we think they are,” Ross said.

The Division of Wildlife Resources advises Utahns to keep space away from deer and not feed the animals. The town of Sandy has an ordinance that prohibits people from feeding them.


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Jennifer R. Strohm