‘Panic set in’: Man and his dog attacked by bear outside home

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 5:02 PM PST
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GOFFSTOWN, N. H. (WBZ) – A small dog and his owner are recovering after being attacked by a bear in Goffstown, New Hampshire, located about an hour north of Boston.

Jim Hurley described the horrifying moments he and his 10-year-old terrier named Toby were attacked by a bear.

“When I walked out and saw those two bears staring at me right there, then panic set in,” he said.

Three days ago, Hurley said he let his dog out of the house around 7 p.m. Moments later, he heard a terrifying sound.

When Hurley ran out into the backyard, he was confronted with a bear and her two cubs. The bear took a swipe at him and his dog.

“With a swipe from a wide paw like, ‘Get out of my way,’ type thing,” he said. “And the laceration that I have on my shoulder is very consistent with a swipe also.”

Both Hurley and Toby ran back into the house. Hurley walked away with just a cut on his arm, but Toby took the brunt of the attack.

“He sustained deep wounds to his side, his abdomen,” Hurley said. “No bones were broken and no organs were impacted. Just flesh wounds.”

Toby spent a few days in the veterinary hospital. He’s received dozens of stitches, but will be OK.

Hurley said the incident left Toby extremely frightened, as their backyard is all forest.

“It’s caused me to possibly reconsider where I am living right now as a result,” he said. “I hear people saying bears come back, bears come back if there is a food source.”

Hurley said he believes the bear was attracted to the food source in his backyard: rotten apples on the ground. He also believes the bear was just trying to protect its cubs.

“I am absolutely ecstatic that Toby is OK, and I feel lucky I am okay because the drop of my shoulder and face is only five inches away, and if I had gotten swatted or something else I would probably be in the ICU,” he said.

Fortunately, man and his best friend remain side-by-side and happy to be back home.

For now, Hurley said he plans to only let Toby out at night on a leash. He’s also considering installing more lights in the backyard.