Man Fights Off Bobcat Barehanded in His Backyard To Save His Dog

by Sean Griffin

A Canadian man named Joel Anstett fought off a bobcat in his backyard to save his dog. The incident occurred on July 20th.

Anstett, of Ashcroft, British Columbia, sustained multiple injuries while rescuing his beagles from the clutches of a bobcat. The man received tetanus and rabies shots after being bitten by the bobcat. Furthermore, he also sustained scratches on his arms and legs.

Anstett talked to Field & Stream about the incident. His let his dog Apollo outside around 11:30 pm. However, Anstett noticed that over the previous nights, his dog had acted strange when outside alone. Astett decided he should go outside with the dog.

“As soon as I opened the door, he put his nose straight in the air and took off right for the corner of our house,” Anstett says. “I heard a loud thud, like something jumped on him and took the wind out of him. Then he let out a big yelp.”

Rushing to investigate, he saw what he first thought was a lynx. However, soon he realized it was a large bobcat. The bobcat was on top of the dog, and Anstett rushed to Apollo’s aid.

Victim Describes the Bobcat Attack

“Apollo is a big beagle, and that bobcat completely covered him,” he says. “When I was wrestling it, I tried to force my arm into its throat and that’s when it turned and bit me. Then it was survival mode for the cat. It was clawing, biting, took a good chunk off the tip of my finger. It left five or six teeth marks in my index finger and took a nail completely off.”

However, Anstett’s adrenaline allowed him to take action. He tossed the animal over the fence into a neighbor’s yard. Anstett estimates the creature was twice the size of his beagle and much heavier.

The encounter left bites and scratches on Anstett’s fingers, wrist, arms, and legs. The dog sustained five bites to its back. However, both Apollo and Anstett’s recovery is going smoothly.

Anstett knows the incident could’ve been worse. He says that on July 21, the day after the incident, conservation officers in Ashcroft warned residents that a cougar had been spotted. They advised people to keep all children and pets inside. Anstett was later informed that the cougar had been shot in a residential area of the town.

“I don’t think I would have been able to pick up a cougar,” says Anstett, who is confident that animal was not the same one that attacked Apollo. “The conservation officer said he was very surprised that I went at it bare-handed, but I was in fight-for-survival mode. My dog is my baby. I’m sure anybody who loves their dog would do the same thing.”

Luckily, both Anstett and his dog survived and recovered from the bobcat attack. The incident is similar to one that occurred last year, where a North Carolina man was left “lucky to be alive.”