Wolves attack resident’s dog in the middle of village

Three wolves attacked a dog in the village of Pürksi in Noarootsi on Saturday evening. The dog escaped with its life.

Pürksi center has a kindergarten, school, and the local bar on one side of the road and the village hall and two-story apartment buildings on the other. An illuminated paved road separates them. Wolves attacked two-year-old beagle Ruudi on a green strip next to the road.

The incident took place at around eight or quarter to nine on Saturday evening. People were starting to arrive at the pub to watch the finale of the “Eesti laul” song competition together. The dog was allowed to go outside as there is hardly any traffic in the village at that hour.

Ruudi headed straight for the road which is probably what saved him. Had he gone behind the house where it was dark, it is probable no one would have witnessed the attack. Now, people could see large creatures go after the beagle.

People rushed out of the pub, and the ensuing commotion caused the wolves to leave Ruudi alone. One of them continued down a path that led almost straight through the village. Ruudi wanted to go after one of the wolves.

“Luckily, we could see it from the window. Had it happened outside our field of view, things might have been far worse. I saw our dog standing on its hind legs, trying to fight back,” said Ülle Schönberg, mother of Ruudi’s owner. “One of the wolves was massive. Ruudi has bite wounds on both sides, back, and neck.”

An ambulance was called for Ruudi and the dog’s wounds sutured. The vet warned the dog’s owner there was a chance of infection. Ruudi was written a prescription for antibiotics. The dog did not eat or drink and was shaking on Monday which made it impossible to give him the drugs.

Ülle Schönberg had to drive to Haapsalu to pick up antibiotic shots. After a while, owners managed to feed Ruudi a pill with dogfood. Ruudi was quite chipper again by the time of Postimees’ visit.

The dog was weak and shaking but gave the visitors a good sniff-over nevertheless.

“The vet said that Ruudi was lucky in that he remained on his feet. Had the wolves gained access to his belly and entrails, it would probably have been impossible to save the animal. He is muscular on his back and neck, and they did not manage to do so much damage there,” said Ruudi’s owner Silver Schönberg.

When Ruudi was taken out for a spell, he became quite cheerful going about his dog business and meeting a few fellow canines. Then, Silver had to carry him back inside.

Ruudi’s owners were shown footage from local security cameras on Monday. “The footage reveals there were three wolves. The fight was not caught on camera, while the camera in front of the municipality hall shows two wolves leaving the village at a leisurely pace. One of them looks back. The third wolf likely passed between the library and a residence and headed for the neighboring village,” Silver Schönberg said.

Ruudi’s master was paid a less than encouraging visit by an environmental officer on Monday.

“The saddest part was when they said, “we don’t know whether this single attack is enough for an additional hunting permit”. It is quite ugly. I told them there is a kindergarten and school nearby,” he said.

Silver Schönberg added that the weekend was still a school holiday and there were fewer children than normally in Pürksi. However, there are still people out and about around 8 p.m., including children.

“The only thing they asked me was my email address, so they could send me a compensation form. But that sentence greatly disturbed me. Is life such that we need to find a backpack without a kid before something is done?” the dog owner asked.