SHERMAN -- A yellow Labrador named Nina was recovering on Monday after being attacked over the weekend by what her owners believe was a black bear.
Karen Facey said she is most concerned the attack on her family's dog early Saturday evening took place within 50 or 75 feet of her husband, Chris, and 10-year-old son, Devin, who were working on a new dog run in the backyard.
Facey noted that Chris was working with power tools and observed that the attacking animal apparently didn't shy away from that loud noise.
"This bear doesn't seem to be afraid of humans," said Facey. "That's a little disconcerting."
Karen Facey, who is New Milford's fire marshal, said Nina wandered off on Saturday and returned moments later with cuts to her side, back legs and face.
Nina, a 5- or 6-year-old rescue dog, underwent surgery on Sunday, and is recovering from her injuries, Facey said. The family lives near the center of Sherman.
"Thank God there weren't any internal injuries," she said. "Nina was very, very lucky."
The family didn't see the attack, but Facey said the wounds appear consistent with a bear attack.
While bear sightings are fairly frequent in the state's northwest corner, bear attacks are another matter.
Cyndy Chanaca, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said Monday that she has heard of few bear attacks in recent years.
"We mostly get calls about bear sightings, but attacks are not that prevalent," she said.
Chanaca said residents who have seen bears in their neighborhood should be extra vigilant and take precautions, such as keeping garbage cans covered and not putting out bird feeders or other food sources that could attract bears.
Facey said that while her family has always taken precautions, including keeping animal food indoors, they are going to increase their vigilance.
She said their four dogs will not be allowed to roam free on the property, and Devin and his sister, Taylor, 12, will not be allowed outside, especially during the evening hours, without plenty of lighting and adult supervision.
"Beyond that," Facey said, "I don't think there is too much else we can do."