UPDATED: 1:15 p.m.
The Metropolitan District Commission reservoir was reopened as of noon today, although West Harford Police report that neither they nor the DEEP have successfully located the bear that allegedly attacked a dog early this morning.
According to police, the dog that was attacked was a 6-year-old schnauzer belonging to Dan Sweeney, 29, of Harwich Lane in West Hartford. Sweeney told police that he "fired his handgun several times at the bear in an attempt to save his dog." He said that once the bear ran off into the woods, he was able to retrieve his dog and bring it the VCA Avon Emergency Animal Hospital.
According to police, the dog is expected to recover.
MDC is currently investigating the incident. West Hartford Police report that there is no evidence that any of the shots struck the bear.
Dave Mackellar of Hartford, formerly of West Hartford, set off to walk his dog, Guinness, shortly after noon in the area of the reservoir where the incident occurred earlier Monday morning.
"I come up here all the time because no one is around. You can't predict where bears are going to be, but who packs heat when they're walking up here," Mackellar said. Guinness, a large sandy-colored dog that Mackellar said is predominantly lab, was on a leash as the two set off for their walk.
UPDATED: 10:30 a.m.
Police are still searching for the bear that attacked a dog early Monday morning on MDC property south of Albany Ave. in West Hartford.
According to information received from The Metropolitan District (MDC), officials have closed the "West Hartford Water Treatment Facility and reservoir/recreation areas located at 1420 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford, while West Hartford Police Department and the CT DEEP investigate a reported bear sighting on the property early this morning."
Kerry Martin, MDC spokesperson, said that the bear was reportedly heading south toward the main entrance of the facility, and officials are preventing access for safety reasons.
West Hartford Police are stationed on Albany Ave., denying access to the reservoir property from that location. Reservoir #6, which is on the opposite side of Albany Ave., remains open.
According to Lt. Jeff Rose of the West Hartford Police, police have identified the site of the shooting, about 1/4 mile south of Albany Ave. No blood was found at the scene, Rose said.
The man who shot at the bear has been identified as Dan Sweeney of West Hartford, but no other information is yet available. According to Rose, Sweeney has now taken the dog to his own veterinarian.
Rose confirmed that the dog was off-leash when the incident occurred. "Rules and Regulations" for public use of the West Hartford Reservoirs and Reservoir #6 specifically state that "dogs must controlled and on a leash."
The regulations also specifically prohibit "carrying or discharging firearms or dangerous weapons."
Rose said that it is currently "business as usual" at nearby Renbrook School, where summer camp is in session.
"Everyone should be vigilant," Rose cautioned. Although it is not known whether one of the bullets actually hit the bear was injured, he said people should never approach injured animals.
A man walking a dog at the MDC Reservoir property shot at a bear early Monday morning after it attacked the dog, police said.
According to Lt. Jeff Rose of the , the man was walking the dog on MDC property on the south side of Albany Ave., near Old Stone Crossing and Renbrook School, an area known to many runners and bikers as "the berm."
The incident was reported at 6:41 a.m. According to Rose, the man shot at the bear several times. Details are still unclear, and Rose said that some neighbors reported hearing four shots. He is unsure about the breed of the dog, but thinks it may be a schnauzer.
Rose said that the man was not injured, and the bear ran off. He did not know if the bear was hit. Police are on the scene now, and are trying to locate the bear, Rose said.
The dog was taken to at 9 Avonwood Rd in Avon. A nurse at the animal hospital said, "We are in the middle of stabilizing the dog here."
Rose said the only other incident he recalls where someone shot at a bear in West Hartford occurred in May 1990.