Dog was chasing mountain goat, Utah sheriff's office says
OK, so maybe the dog had it coming.
Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said Tuesday that further investigation has revealed that the 55-pound dog was off-leash and chasing the mountain goat on a Mount Timpanogos trail when it counterattacked, injuring the canine Sunday.
The 26-year-old woman who owned the dog had just allowed her pet off its leash during an afternoon hike along the Aspen Grove Trail. Moments later, it bolted after the mountain goat, despite the horned wild animal being roughly three times its weight.
"[The dog] began to chase it. It was at that time that the dog was injured by the mountain goat," Cannon said. "The owner reports that her dog was not seriously injured and is recovering."
Cannon said that allowing the dog off the leash was not technically illegal, but allowing it to chase protected wildlife is a misdemeanor under Utah County Code.
Still, there are no plans to file charges at this time, he added.
The mother of the dog owner called Utah County dispatchers at 5:15 p.m. Sunday to report her daughter and dog had just been attacked by the mountain goat. She wanted county search and rescue to respond, but was told search and rescue missions are limited to humans.
Besides, Cannon said, in this particular case it would have taken several hours to reach the dog and bring it down the mountain.
"The primary concern is that another call for assistance involving people in a different area may come in while the rescue is in process. In that case rescuers needed for the new call would be delayed, or may even be unable to respond," Cannon explained.
Indeed, within two hours of the woman's call, search and rescue workers scrambled to help rescue a family of five from a disabled boat on Mud Lake. It took four hours to carry out that mission.
The dog owner was able to coax her pet down the trail and took it to a veterinarian for treatment of a kick to the chest.
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