A dog is believed to have been attacked by a bear Tuesday in Great Falls, Virginia.
The 6-year-old rescue dog named Blue was found with wounds and claw marks on her left side that the owners' veterinarian said were consistent with an attack by a bear in “defensive mode.”
Dog owner Richard Kelly said his sons found Blue bleeding when they got home Tuesday night. The family initially thought a raccoon had attacked their dog, but their veterinarian told them otherwise.
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"This dog was very, very lucky to have escaped with its life," Kelly said. "We could have come home to find a dead dog with its fur torn up."
Without any witnesses, Fairfax County Animal Services Division spokeswoman Katherine Edwards said it's difficult to tell what caused Blue's injuries.
Bears have been spotted recently in the area, including near the Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department on Georgetown Pike.
Resident Sharon Rainey, who runs the website myNeighborsNetwork, said she wants to see action from Fairfax County.
"The fear has set in. The residents just want to be able to cohabitate or have the bears taken care of somehow," she said. "I don't know what that resolution would be. But they want their families safe."
As Blue recovers, Kelly said he's concerned for his family's safety.
“I cannot have my children playing out here, shooting hoops, running around my own front yard after dark until this problem is solved,” he said.
If you see a bear, you should make yourself look large and back away slowly, according to the National Park Service.