MADRAS, OR -- A Bend man and his dog are recovering from a cougar attack, early Thursday morning. Rick Smith was camping at the East Shore Forest Service Campground at Haystack Reservoir, when he heard his dog cry out at about 3 a.m. He told The Source's Brian Jennings, "Came out here to Haystack to go fishing. My dog was chasing something up on the hill and all of a sudden he started screaming bloody murder. I knew something was wrong, so I ran back and grabbed my rifle - I didn't have it loaded at the time - ran up on the hill there and saw the cougar had him by the back of the head. So, I ran up and grabbed the cougar with my hands and tried to bust his jaw. And, the thing bit me."
Smith called 911 and they arranged to have a vet meet him and look at "Briar," the dog. Overall, Briar's injuries are described as minor and he should make a full recovery. "He's got two pretty good puncture wounds right on the back of his head, two puncture wounds over his right eye and one over his left eye; his right ear is messed up," says Smith. "But, with that said, he's OK. They pumped him full of antibiotics and gave me a bunch of meds for him. He's a lucky boy!" He adds, "If it had been an adult cat, my dog would've been dead because as deep as the puncture wounds are, it's right on his spine. Yeah, he's very lucky it didn't kill him."
Smith also sought medical attention and should be fine, "Other than being really shook up." He tells Jennings, "I mean, I've killed probably close to 30 cats in my lifetime, and this cat was extremely aggressive."
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is closely monitoring cougar activity and will take appropriate action where and when needed. They have yet to find the cougar responsible for the attack.
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