Moose kicks dog in Pinebrook, highlighting safety concerns
When Laura Francese came home last week from running errands, she encountered a bull moose standing in the road near her home in Pinebrook.
The encounter later led to a frightening interaction where the moose violently kicked Francese’s dog, she said. The incident reminded her of the dangers wildlife can pose to pets.
“We have to be diligent about safety precautions when it comes to wildlife and our animals,” she said.
Francese, who moved to Pinebrook in July from Wanship, said she “loves the wildlife,” so she watched the animal from inside her house as it ate from some trees and bushes in her front yard. But, after a while the animal seemingly disappeared.
“I didn’t think much of it or see what direction he went in,” she said.
Francese said she had already forgotten about the moose when she went into the garage to get a toy for her son. Her two dogs — a 13-year-old Weimaraner and 10-year-old German shorthaired pointer — followed.
“I had left the garage door open and when I went in I realized the moose had bedded down next to my truck,” she said. “The dogs ran up to him and started barking at him, which caused him to jump up and he came down on top of my 13-year-old dog, Pippa. I was just screaming at the top of my lungs to get the moose away and for my dogs to come to me.”
Francese said it happened so quickly she didn’t know if her dog, Pippa, was seriously injured.
“It just seemed like a very dangerous situation,” she said. “All I could do was scream at Pippa to get up and then she ran over to the front of my house. The moose eventually backed down to the bottom of the driveway and just stood there for about 10 minutes before he just walked down the road.”
Francese has since taken her dog to the vet on three separate occasions. It did not suffer any internal bleeding or broken bones, she said. But, she added, her dog seems traumatized.
“She’s not acting right and she won’t eat,” she said. “I don’t blame the moose, though. He was just reacting to feeling threatened. As far as I’m concerned, we have encroached on their home. We just have to be diligent about safety and precautions. They can seriously injure children, adults and our pets.”
Mark Hadley, outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, said moose are docile until they become agitated.
“Moose are a very dangerous animal,” he said. “They are large, very strong and they are a lot faster than people think they are. They can knock you down and stomp on you with their front legs.”
Hadley said moose don’t appear to be afraid of much, which can lead to dangerous situations. He warned that cow moose can be particularly dangerous during the spring after they birth their calves. He encouraged residents to give moose space if they encounter the animals in their yards or on trails in the coming months.
“Keep as much distance as you can between yourself and the moose, especially if you have pets,” he said. “As far as public safety goes, we are as concerned about moose as any animal in the state. They have the potential to do a lot of harm to people who end up too close to them.”
For more information about what to do in case of a moose encounter, go to wildawareutah.org/utah-wildlife-information/moose/.
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The project will also lower the speed limit in that stretch from 65 mph to 55 mph.