My Cart


Doe Fatally Attacks Dog

Jennifer Smith

Posted on June 15 2018

What began as a routine morning bathroom break for Pepper, a 9-pound miniature poodle, quickly turned tragic after a fatal encounter with an aggressive doe near Lake Owasso in Shoreview.

Jill Wilson started her Sunday morning on June 3 as many dog owners would, letting her dog out the back door to take care of his business. Neither Wilson nor her dog noticed the doe standing in the yard. Even if they had, deer sightings in the suburban Twin Cities are common, and Wilson said Pepper had been chasing deer all of his 14 years, usually resulting in a backyard free of deer and a dog full of puppy pride.

Once Pepper had taken notice, he barked and ran toward the deer. To Wilson’s horror, the deer stood its ground, rose on its hind legs and pummeled her dog with its front hooves.

The dog initially escaped the attack by curling into a ball. But the deer chased down the dog for a second attack. Wilson shouted enough to make the deer leave, scooped up her badly injured dog and sped to the nearest vet.

The dog’s ribs were broken, he was losing function in his legs and the only option, Wilson says, was to euthanize him.

Wilson has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years and says she never had seen such a crazed and aggressive deer.

Neighbors had recently seen a deer with a newborn fawn, and the aggressive deer may have been a mother protecting its young. Others had reported a deer climbing onto a back porch and stomping furiously at people seen through the window.

Scott Noland, Forest Lake Area wildlife manager for the Department of Natural Resources, said this was the first time in about three years that he had handled an incident of a dog being killed. He said that during the fawning season in late May to early June, people should not approach deer and should keep their dog on a leash.

Wilson posted the details of the event on her neighborhood Next Door page to warn people to look out for the deer and protect their pets and children. Wilson herself is grandmother to a 3-year-old.

Story re-posted from Written by Lucas Johnson. Photo of Pepper c/o Jill Wilson.