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Alberta woman shaken up after deer attacks dog

Neighbours come to her aid after a deer charges Lisa Flentje and her collie, Lola, while walking in an alley in an Okotoks neighbourhood.

A close call with a deer on Wednesday in Okotoks left a dog bruised and her owner shaken up. 

A deer charged at Lisa Flentje and her collie, Lola, while they were walking in an alley near Cimarron Circle over the noon-hour on June 19. 

“We were halfway up the alley and a deer just appeared,” Flentje said.  

Seeing the deer, she considered moving to one side and going past, or turning around, but said there wasn’t enough time to act. 

The deer charged from 50 feet away, ran circles around them and lunged at the dog with its front hooves, leaving the dog cowering beside a fence. 

"It was terrifying,” she said. “It was fixated that it was going to get my dog.” 

Neighbours came to her aid, some trying to get the deer away and one letting the pair escape into a backyard. 

“They had brought big branches and were thumping, to try and get the deer away from my dog, because it would not get off my dog,” she said. 

She said she is thankful for the help, and without it, things could have ended differently.

“I really don't know what would have happened if they didn't come, because the deer was not scared of me alone on my own.” 

The collie was taken to the vet and was able to go home with some medication. 

“The vet said she would be in pain,” Flentje said. “No skin is broken.” 

She comes home every day to walk the dog at lunchtime and said deer are always around. 

“We’ve been lunged at before,” she said. “We've had deer in our front yard a lot.” 

Flentje said she is deer-aware and has taught her son to be mindful around the animals, which she said are wild and can be dangerous.

The Town of Okotoks has studied urban deer and discussed the issue, but Flentje said it seems like it has been put on the backburner. 

“I think that something has to be done,” she said. “We need deer population control.

“They're having their fawns, so they're super aggressive. So I'm supposed to what, shelter in place and not leave my house?” 

She said the incident was reported. The Town of Okotoks advises that residents phone Report-A-Poacher at 1-800-642-3800 24-hours-a-day to report aggressive deer. 

Anyone in immediate danger should call 911, the Town said. 

A bylaw in place since 2021 prohibits intentional or unintentional feeding of deer on private property, but Flentje said people continue to put out food like apples. 

“That type of behaviour can’t happen,” she said.  

Robert Korotyszyn

About the Author: Robert Korotyszyn

Robert Korotyszyn covers Okotoks and Foothills County news for and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact [email protected]
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