Church Pastor Saves Dog Named ‘Peyton Manning’ From Black Bear Attack

by Will Shepard

A Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania pastor had a fright the other night, Tuesday, April 6. He had to deal with a black bear trying to kill the family dog, Peyton Manning.

The church pastor, Rev. Tim Strandling, rescued the nine-year-old terrier mix. Thankfully the dog is safe, but it is recovering in the local pet hospital. Peyton Manning, the dog, has puncture wounds around his neck.

On Tuesday, the church pastor had to act quickly. Strandling said that it happened in an instance. Around 10 p.m. on Monday, he let Peyton out. Almost immediately, the terrier starting frantically barking. But, Strandling thought that it was just a deer.

However, when the pastor looked outside, he saw that a black bear had his dog in its mouth. “I just had the thought of how is he being bit there. Is he on the back of his neck or around his neck?” Rev. Stradling said.

So, the reverend sprung into action, hoping to save his dog. Immediately he went outside and tried to make himself look as big as possible, yelling and making lots of noise.

The black bear wouldn’t budge, so the church pastor began mock charging the animal. Finally, the bear dropped the terrier.

A Church Pastor in Pennsylvania Saved His Dog From a Black Bear Attack

However, once the black bear had dropped the dog, it looked as if it was going to leave. But, all of the sudden, it turned back around and came charging.

Thankfully, Strandling’s wife was outside on their porch balcony and began yelling at the black bear. It turned away from the pastor before it attacked him.

Eventually, the pastor found his terrier Peyton Manning and got to examine him. He quickly realized that an emergency trip to the veterinarian was in store, so they rushed off. At the hospital, the vet had to decide whether the dog’s leg could be repaired or if it needed to be amputated.

Describing the wounds on the dog, Strandling says, “The back of his neck is like a row of teeth.”

Hopefully, this is the last bear attack that Pennsylvania will see this year. The pastor and his wife have lived at their house for 17 years and have never encountered anything like that black bear attack.

A local Pennsylvania game warden says that black bears are emerging with cubs this time of year. Consequently, the bears are aggressive, hungry, and unpredictable.

Thankfully, though, as the pastor himself says, his “mixture of being brave and being stupid” saved his dog. “I remembered to get big and to get loud, but that didn’t work. In the moment, I thought I can’t let my dog get taken like that.”