An 11-year-old yellow Lab sustained life-threatening injuries early Tuesday morning when it was attacked by a bear at a Holland Circle home.
The dog was euthanized later in the day when it became apparent the dog would have little chance of recovery.
The dog’s owner, Melinda Cortez, told the Kodiak Daily Mirror she let both her dogs — a Lab named Boon and a pitbull named Boomer — outside in the middle of the night.
“I heard the barking and woke up. One of my dogs came inside and the other was lying in the driveway and hurt pretty bad,” she said.
Her next-door neighbor Megan Bravo said her husband woke up to their dog barking and heard their neighbors’ dogs chase the bear away.
“We didn’t even know that the bear had come back and that Boon had been on the porch,” Bravo said.
She said she found bear paw prints and blood on her car.
“It had to have happened after (the bear) had gotten Boon, because there is also blood,” she said.
A veterinarian at the Kodiak Veterinary Clinic said the owners made the right choice in deciding to euthanize their dog.
“I saw him on emergency last night. (The owners) did elect to euthanize him because of the severity of his wounds,” Dr. Emily Iacobucci said. “There was a very small likelihood that he would have survived despite our best efforts.”
Cortez tearfully described her dog’s nature.
“He was so sweet and laid back. He was happy to go out and chase a stick or sit down on the floor next to the couch when we were watching movies. He loved everyone that he met,” Cortez said.
Bravo also said that Boon was a great dog.
“He was the sweetest old man dog. He has been around our family since (the owners) moved here,” Bravo said. “He would greet me every time I’d come home. He would always play fetch with the kids. He is going to definitely be missed.”
Cortez said a Facebook post published Tuesday morning by Cortez’s mother announcing the mauling has sparked a heated debate about bear management in Kodiak.
The post published on the Kodiak Bear Aware Facebook group has garnered 198 reactions and 97 comments.
“It breaks my heart to see people fight about it,” she said. ”I hope that people can be aware of their surroundings and watch out for their kids and their pets.
Although there has been bear activity in that area, Bravo said she has not heard of bears going after dogs in the 15 years that she has lived there.
Alaska State Trooper Boyce Simmons said this was an isolated incident.