Family dog 'Dakota' attacked by bear in Seminole County

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A bear attack in Seminole County put a family's pet in an animal hospital Tuesday.

The dog was attacked in the Magnolia Plantation neighborhood, where residents have been complaining about bears for months.

Mark and Connie Gellner said they let Dakota, their 6-year-old chocolate lab, out to go to the bathroom around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. They said Dakota came back whimpering and covered in blood minutes later.

"We are scared, we don't know what to do about letting them out to go to the bathroom to let the kids go out to play," said Connie Gellner.

Connie said she and her daughters, ages 7 and 9, see the black bear at least one a week.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said the bears are scouring for food to get ready for their winter hibernation.

The Gellners and their neighbors said they've been trying to get wildlife officials to catch the bear, but they were told it was not causing any major issues.

"It's very frustrating. They basically say they have to determine if it's a nuisance," said Gellner.
The family is hoping wildlife officials will do something now that their dog was attacked.

"I don't want the bear put down, but let's remove the bear and put the bear somewhere safe. We are not safe here now," said Gellner.

Florida Fish and Wildlife said they would send someone out to the neighborhood Wednesday.

Dakota was recovering after surgery Tuesday night.