It was a beautiful fall day that started off like most days at the busy Anicira Veterinary Center in Harrisonburg. Outside, pet parents dropped their dogs. Inside, our team was busy performing surgeries and providing medical treatment to pets.

Then around 1pm, things took a dramatic turn. A Miniature Schnauzer named Max was rushed to the clinic after being attacked by a bear. About twenty minutes later, Leni, a 12 pound Miniature Poodle, arrived in rough shape after also being attacked by a bear. 

Both pets were injured severely and required surgeries to repair their wounds. Luckily, with the help of our amazing team of doctors and technicians, Leni and Max are alive to tell their harrowing tail! 

It is rare for a bear to attack a dog, but as we have seen, not completely unheard of. Because both attacks occured in the same neighborhood, it was likely the same bear involved. 

To minimize risk of a bear encounter, we want to offer a couple of tips:

1) Secure any trash or food that may attract bears – including your pet’s food.

2) Keep an eye on your pet when they’re exploring outside.

3) When in the woods, maintain awareness of your surroundings, make lots of noise, keep your pet on a leash, and carry bear spray.

If you encounter a black bear, make lots of noise and do NOT run. Slowly distance yourself while never turning your back on the bear. Never get between a mama bear and her babies.