Beaver attacked by dog, spurs park officials to say: Keep pets on leash | Barky Supplies Expert Tips

Beaver attacked by dog, spurs park officials to say: Keep pets on leash

Sometimes domestic pets interact with wildlife and the result isn’t pretty.

Such was the case on May 14, when a dog that was off its leash attacked a wild beaver in Rock Creek Park near Boulder Bridge. The National Park Service said the beaver was severely hurt and had to be euthanized.

The Park Service used the incident as a time to remind people to keep their dogs leashed. Federal regulations require all pets to be leashed, and owners can be subject to fines.

In the May 14 case, the owner was not fined, according to Park Service officials.

Beavers are native to Rock Creek Park, and they often build dams along the waterways from nearby trees. Chelsea Sullivan, a spokesperson for the Park Service, said Thursday that the “dog was off-leash and saw the beaver, went over and attacked it.” She said the beaver was “in the water and hanging out on a rock when it was attacked.”

Officials didn’t have statistics of how often such incidents occur, but Sullivan said “it is an issue with people having dogs off-leash and there’s a negative interaction like that.” Sometimes, Sullivan said, an off-leash dog spooks a horse, or other people may not feel comfortable with an off-leash dog near them.

“It is so important to keep a dog on leash,” Sullivan said. “It’s not only for the safety of other people and other animals, but also for the safety of your pet.”

And remember — Rock Creek Park is home to wild animals.

“Just because you think your dog is well-behaved or won’t do anything, it doesn’t mean a deer, coyote or foxes will appreciate a dog that’s off on a trail and not on its leash,” Sullivan said.

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