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Man rescues dog after wolf attack in Florence

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Nov 15 2012 07:52:53 PM MST
Updated On: Nov 15 2012 08:39:09 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Florence resident Don Burgess says he woke up Wednesday morning to a horrible sound he thought might be coming from his dog outside.

"It was like a critter trying to growl, but it couldn't quite get it out or bark," said Burgess.

So he says he grabbed a flashlight and pepper spray, and followed the noise.

"I got down close to the creek and I heard another one of those stifled, strange noises across the creek, and shined my light over there, and I could see a wolf with the dog.”

Burgess said he approached the wolf, and when he was five yards away, reached for his pepper spray.

"I popped the trigger on the pepper spray canister,” said Burgess. “And the wolf dropped the dog, just kind of looked at me, and walked off."

He said the dog stumbled out of the woods, and was visibly shaken.

“I expected him to be kind of shredded, but amazingly, I was just relieved to see, when I got back to the house, that he just had puncture wounds on the top of his head and underneath his jaw," said Burgess. “About an hour later, the adrenaline really kicked in, and it was just kind of a rush. It’s hard to believe what happened right there, right by the house, it’s a little disturbing."

He said this is the first time an attack like this has happened where he lives, off Holloway Lane in Florence, but he said it’s something he’ll be more cautious of.

"(Wolves) very seldom trouble humans, but sometimes they do, so it's just another thing to watch out for when you're living on the edge of the wilderness."