Public comes together to search for missing dog following wolf attack near Terrace

Public comes together to search for missing dog following wolf attack near Terrace

Facebook group ‘Come Home Lexa’ has almost 600 members

The search continues for a dog missing since a wolf attack on the Thornhill Mountain Trails, near Terrace, on June 27.

Dog-walker Danielle Sexton was walking up Copper Mountain with her 11-year-old brother and 14 unleashed dogs when they encountered two wolves. The wild animals launched on one of the canines. At some point during the conflict Sexton’s three-year-old Husky, Lexa, disappeared. 

Community support has since been pouring by organizing search party walks, flying drones over the search area and installing trail cameras to help locate Sexton’s pet. Immediately following the incident, Sexton posted on Facebook to warn the public about the wolves and offer details regarding her missing husky.

“It’s been amazing, there have been people printing off posters and putting them all over town, taking their lunch breaks to go drive around and look for her, or walking trails all over the area,” she says. “We’ve all been communicating with each other about where we’re going to go… we also set up her kennel and blanket out there.”

The ‘Come Home Lexa’ Facebook group has almost 600 members who are actively engaged to help Sexton find her dog. She says she’s taken aback with the amount of support she’s received since the incident, with many people coming out to help look and put up posters around the area. A reward of $1,500 is being offered by Sexton if Lexa is found.

She says she believes her dog is still alive as she can’t recall seeing her during the attack. It’s likely she ran off in fear upon hearing all the commotion.

“We just got to the beginning of the trail that we were taking, we were maybe 200 feet from the logging road and I could hear a dog screaming,” says Sexton. “I sprinted over and I see two wolves on [one of the dogs].”

READ MORE: As bears emerge from hibernation, conservation officer reminds public to be aware

She says the wolves were holding down her friend’s dog as she tried to scare them off but it wasn’t until another dog intervened that they let go.

“The other dog jumped on them and they kept coming toward him; I yelled at them, screamed and charged at them until they eventually ran away,” she says. “I counted all the dogs right away.”

Sexton then realized her three-year-old husky Lexa was missing.

The injured dog suffered severed wounds to one of its hindquarters and was rushed to the vet to receive stitches.

BC Conservation officer Scott Senkiw was called to the scene to investigate.

He says although there have been sightings of wolves in the area, they typically are very cautious, reserved and avoid engagement.

“They don’t want contact with humans and what could have happened [is that] there may or may not have been puppies in the area,” Senkiw says. “That large troop of 14 dogs, all of which were off the leash, potentially they perceived that as a threat and were simply taking defensive action.”

Concluding the attack does not pose a threat to public safety, Senkiw says COs are not engaged in the search for the missing dog and will not be seeking to remove the wolves at this time as it was not in an urban environment.

READ MORE: The many hats of a B.C. conservation officer

That same week, another Facebook user posted that her dachshund was pinned down by a wolf in her yard by Kalum Lake Rd. and says the wolf pack is “up to 15” in the area.

Senkiw says they did not receive a report of that incident and there is no reason for panic.

“People on social media tend to bolster that and there may be some hysteria, but that just comes with people being conscious of where they live,” he says. “The amount of sightings that have come in, none of them have really indicated there’s any aggression or anything that would really cause alarm… we just have to remember that we’re in their environment.”

Although it’s unlikely a wolf would attack a human, Senkiw says they are curious animals and it’s important to know how to react if encountering one in the wild. Generally, the scare tactic as employed by Sexton during her encounter will discourage a wolf from approaching as they don’t like conflict.

“Ideally, we recommend people raise their arms and wave them in the air… [using] noisemakers, horns, throwing sticks, rock, sand, anything available just to show that this just isn’t worth coming near,” he says. “If they display aggressive behavior, we recommend people back away slowly and don’t turn your back on the wolf…. [and always] carry wildlife designated pepper spray.”

READ MORE: New Conservation Officer settling in

He also advises to not hike alone and that all animals should be leashed, as their reports over time show that off-leash pets tend to get into more conflict than on-leash with wildlife.

To report sightings of wolves or wild animals near a residential area, Senkiw urges the public to call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. Keeping attractants out in the open or feeding dangerous wildlife can also result in fines of up to $575 under the BC Wildlife Act.


 


natalia@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 exposure at The Key, weather shelter announced in Fort St. James

Northern Health made the public service announcement Dec. 1

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Pipe stringing work in Section 4. (Coastal GasLink photo/Lakes District News)
Pipe installation begins from south of Burns Lake to north of Vanderhoof

Coastal Gas Link’s November update indicates 528 additional workers

Vanderhoof Community Foundation logo.
Donate in your loved one’s name this Giving Tuesday: Vanderhoof Community Foundation

Today, Dec. 1 is celebrated as Giving Tuesday, a global movement for… Continue reading

Annerose Georgeson in the process of painting a mural at the Stuart Nechako Manor in July. While she was working on the mural, a nurse and a senior living at the Manor were enjoying the live painting. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof artist completes mural at the Manor

A Vanderhoof artist has finished her mural at a local long-term care… Continue reading

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

Most Read