Dog survives bear attack in New Jersey backyard while family was away on vacation

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ByToni Yates via WABC logo
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
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Toni Yates has the story of a dog attacked in her own back yard by a bear protecting her cubs.

BUTLER, New Jersey (WABC) -- A family dog in New Jersey was attacked by a bear who was protecting her cubs in a backyard.

The incident was reported Saturday morning outside Matt and Lori DiNapoli's home on Scott Road.

They said their whole neighborhood has a system when anyone sees a bear in the area.

"When we see bears because it's such a frequent occurrence, the people up the street will text us and say, 'hey, by the way, the bears are back, the bears are back,' and then everyone starts communicating," Matt DiNapoli said.

The family was on vacation when they got the alert, but couldn't get the warning to their pet sitter in time.

And their dogs Rosie and Riley had to go out.

"At the point that the dogs were let out, the bears were out of sight, in my yard, on my property behind my shed, and when the dogs were let out, it was too late," DiNapoli said.

The mother bear went after Rosie, leaving her with injuries that required stitches.

The DiNapolis contacted Animal Control just so everyone was on the same page about the bears.

They chose not to have a bear trap placed in the yard because they say the animal would most likely have to be euthanized -- and they don't want that.

They hope homeowners and wildlife agencies might try to find a way for bears and people to have the place and space they need -- without putting any lives at danger.

The family is grateful that both Rosie and Riley are fine.

Click here for more information from New Jersey Fish and Wildlife to reduce the potential for bear encounters.

ALSO READ | Bear caught on doorbell camera passing through New Jersey neighborhood

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