La Verne woman's dog killed by bear in garage

LA VERNE, Calif. (KABC) -- Pati Behrens credits her 12-year-old collie named Saber for saving her life. On Wednesday morning, a bear broke into her garage and tried going inside her home in La Verne.

"I heard the bikes and then I heard the scratching on the door too," Behrens said.

She initially thought it was someone trying to break in, but quickly realized it was a bear looking for food. What she didn't know was that her dog was in the garage.

Behrens said she never heard Saber bark or cry out. "His silence and not barking and just taking the attack himself so that I wouldn't be harmed in any way," said Behrens.

She said if she had heard Saber barking she would have run to help. Police later found the dog severely wounded.

"They took the 12-year-old collie to a local animal hospital where veterinarians determined that the injuries were consistent from a bear attack and he later succumbed to his injuries," said Hollie Savage of the La Verne Police Department.

Behrens said residents in her neighborhood are no strangers to wildlife. Normally, bears are harmless and run away at the sight of humans or other animals.

That was the case a few days ago when Eyewitness News caught the moment a bear was chased away by a dog in Bradbury. Behrens said the bear in those pictures had been roaming her house for a few weeks and believed it was the same one that attacked her dog.

MORE: Fearless shelter dog takes on bear in Bradbury backyard

She is now warning other neighbors.

"Something is wrong with this bear and it needs to be dealt with and I particularly feel it's a danger to the neighborhood," Behrens said. "It's not your typical bear that I think your whole neighborhood is used to dealing with, this one is far more aggressive."

That particular bear was tranquilized and relocated to the Angelus National Forest after California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials caught it roaming around Monrovia and the Duarte area.

MORE: Bear spotted in Duarte likely same on chased by dog in Bradbury

Behrens, meanwhile, remains thankful for what she sees as Saber's sacrifice to save her life.

"I think the Lord used Saber as my protection and I'm very grateful for that," Behrens said.
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