Mounties and animal control officers are investigating after a deer was attacked by four dogs on the Bear Mountain golf course and later had to be euthanized.

Tannis Fillion was walking her dog on an adjacent trail when she witnessed the attack and recorded it on her cellphone.

“It was honestly traumatic,” said Fillion, who called for help, but waited several minutes before the dogs’ owners appeared. 

The young deer suffered a broken leg in the attack and had to be euthanized. Conservation officer Peter Pauwels says these types of attacks aren’t uncommon.

“We probably see five or six calls like that a year, and that’s just the ones we know about,” says Pauwels.

He says incidents like this can result in charges for the dogs’ owners under the Wildlife Act.

“It is an offence to allow dogs to pursue game," he says. "It’s a ticketable offence or you could end up in court."

The dogs’ owners were able to corral the four dogs after several minutes, but by then the damage to the deer had been done. The video shows the deer lying in a sand trap in obvious pain.

As for the pack mentality, Pauwels says many dog owners don’t understand their pet’s instinctive drive to hunt.

“It gets magnified when they’re in a pack and a chase gets going and the animal runs away. They become like a wolf pack and dogs can act completely out of character and people just simply won’t believe it’s their dog that’s doing that. And when we can prove it by photographs they’re astonished.”

If the dogs’ owners are charged, fines can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on their cooperation.