Woman tried, but un­able, to save dog from bear

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Di­ane Pineiro-Zucker dpzucker@free­manon­line.com

When Jackie Haught’s minia­ture poo­dle was at­tacked by a bear cub a week ago, the 70-year-old acupunc­tur­ist fought the at­tacker with her fists and her feet, and even threw an ap­ple at the bear’s head, but she was un­able to save the dog’s life.

Haught, of Brit­tany Drive in West Hur­ley, said Thurs­day that she was walk­ing 11-year-old Luze (pro­nounced Lucy) on a 3-to-5-foot-long bungee cord-style leash when a black bear cub charged from be­hind a dump­ster in the early evening on Satur­day, Nov. 3, and at­tacked the dog.

The bear ran off with­out turn­ing on her but left the dog near death, Haught said.

She said Luze suf­fered a punc­tured lung and crushed ver­te­brae in the at­tack and was eu­th­a­nized at the An­i­mal Emer­gency Clinic of the Hud­son Val­ley the night of the at­tack.

The dog was con­scious af­ter the in­ci­dent, so “we got to say good­bye, [but] she was suf­fer­ing,” Haught said.

The bear, which Haught said was the size of “a short-legged but very husky dog,” lunged at the smaller an­i­mal and quickly “had my dog in its jaw,” she said. “He went right for her.”

Haught spec­u­lated the bear might have mis­taken her small black dog as a com­peti­tor for food.

“I re­ally think there was a mix-up in its mind,” she said, adding that bears are “very hun­gry” at this time of the year and spec­u­lat­ing their be­hav­ior might be due to cli­mate change.

Astrid Nord­ness of West Shokan, the dog’s breeder, who said she of­ten house sat with Luze when Haught was at work in New York City, de­scribed the poo­dle as “an amaz­ing dog” who “lived to chase balls.”

Both women said Luze also en­joyed swim­ming and hik­ing.

“She was very out­go­ing and very friendly,” Nord­ness said of the poo­dle. “If peo­ple weren’t well, she would go and sit with them.”

Nor­dress said about 25 peo­ple at­tended a “fu­neral” Mon­day to pay their re­spects to Luze.

Ac­cord­ing to the state De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, the “lead­ing cause of bear nui­sance com­plaints in New York is peo­ple leav­ing food sources out­side, in­clud­ing un­se­cured res­i­den­tial garbage, pet food and hang­ing bird feed­ers.”

In or­der to avoid at­tract­ing bears, the de­part­ment ad­vises tak­ing down bird feed­ers and putting them away un­til De­cem­ber; keep­ing garbage in­side un­til the morn­ing it is col­lected; never feed­ing pets out­doors; and be­ing “alert and aware of ... sur­round­ings, es­pe­cially at night.”


Luze, an 11-year-old minia­ture poo­dle, had to be eu­th­a­nized af­ter be­ing at­tacked by a bear on Nov. 3 in West Hur­ley, N.Y.

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