Woman Attacked by Bear While Protecting Dog

The victim suffered wounds on her legs but was released after being treated at a local medical facility.

A West Hartford, Conn., woman was attacked by a bear on Wednesday morning while trying to protect her dog.

Sharon Flannery, of 49 Avondale Road, called police at 7:30 a.m. and said a black bear and its two cubs had wandered into her yard and attempted to attack her dog, Maggie. The 200-pound female bear chased the dog as it ran toward the house, Flannery told police.

“It was definitely the scariest thing that's ever happened to me. Before my brain even processed that it was a bear, it was in front of me,” Flannery said.

She had just put Maggie in the backyard on Monday morning when the wild animal tried to chase down her pet.

"Maggie came running right out of those bushes, jumped onto the fountain, and jumped down and beelined it into the house," Flannery said.

Flannery ran to the back door, and within seconds, the bear tried to force its way inside, she said.

“The bear was right there, then it was here and then it was standing right in front of me,” Flannery said.

The homeowner said the bear was relentless, and she knew she had to do something. “I screamed and I yelled. It started poking its head in, so then I kicked it,” Flannery said.

Flannery suffered a puncture wound and several scratches to her lower leg as she kicked the bear to protect her dog. 

“I didn't even notice that there was blood on my ankle until I had closed the door and I was yelling about the bear [almost] coming into the house. I looked down because then it did start to hurt and I was like 'Oh my God, I think the bear bit me,'” Flannery recalled.

She was able to get her dog inside and call police.

The bear and its cubs ran from Flannery's yard and climbed a tree in a nearby yard.

Police and officers from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded and tranquilized the bear and the bear cubs. 

“The gravity of this incident is very unusual,” Susan Whalen, of the D.E.E.P., said.

The bear was euthanized and tested for rabies as a precaution, according to state officials.

The cubs were deemed old enough to survive on their own and will be released into another area, officials said.

Flannery was treated for her injuries and released from a medical facility.

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