4 dogs attacked by wolves over the weekend

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WISCONSIN (WBAY) -- Action 2 News has reported on the uptick of Wisconsin’s wolf population in recent years, and with it the DNR says wolf attacks are up, too.

Over this past weekend, four dogs were attacked by wolves, in four different counties.

The attacks happened in Sawyer, Burnett, Douglas and Oneida Counties. Three dogs were injured and another died.

Since the DNR reported the attacks, Wisconsin politicians have used them to promote wolf control across the state.

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) tweeted, in part, “My push to give states more control to manage their gray wolf populations continues. In the meantime, follow [Wisconsin] DNR wolf web page for areas of caution.”

Action 2 News reached out to DNR staff across the state but didn’t get a response from any wolf specialists by the time of this writing.

We spoke with veterinary staff in Green Bay, who say they have likely treated dogs who have been attacked by wolves.

“It could be a bear, it could be a wolf, it could be coyotes. It generally will kind of look like another dog fight that they're getting into, because it's going to be bite wounds,” says Chris Devener, a Certified Veterinary Technician and referral coordinator at Packerland Veterinary Center.

Technicians at Packerland Veterinary Center say once your dog is being attacked, there’s not much you can do.

“There really isn't a lot that you can do, because your safety is going to be number one. I know that we love our pets, but if something happens to you, you're not going to be able to help them, either,” Devener says.

Instead, the best way to avoid wolf attacks is to prevent them from happening.

“Making sure you're not leaving food out if you're camping, making sure your garbage is well put away,” Devener explains. “Because as habitat loss occurs, they're going to be coming into more city type areas and looking for those food sources.”

According to the DNR, Wisconsin has already seen 10 wolf attacks in 2018, including eight last month alone, and half of those attacks occurred last weekend. In all, 11 dogs have been injured and four more killed.

That’s why experts suggest using the DNR’s Wolf Depredation Tracker or keeping an eye out for signs that wolves are nearby.

“If you're seeing stool somewhere that looks like it could be dog or wolf or something, then I'd be a little more concerned, and maybe want to steer someplace else,” Devener tells Action 2 News.

Once an area has seen a wolf attack, the DNR says there’s a high possibility another attack will happen in the area.

To keep your pet safe, make sure your dog comes when he or she is called, or is on a leash at all times. Also, make sure all your pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccines.

If your dog does get attacked by a wolf, back away slowly and attempt to distract the animals with extra noises. When your dog is free, contact your vet clinic as soon as possible.

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