Encountering a wolf in the wild is a rare occurrence.
A Dawson City, Yukon, resident had an encounter of a lifetime, but one that tragically she'll never forget.
On Saturday morning, Catherine Lalonde and her children heard a commotion outside of their home on Dome Road.
"I heard what sounded like a dog fight outside," said Lalonde. "I ran out and my dog, who was like a medium-size husky cross, not a small dog, was getting dragged into the forest by a big, black what I thought at first was a wolf."
Without thinking twice. Lalonde explained, she grabbed the nearest object and tried to scare off the animal.
She grabbed two hockey sticks, and while hitting them together, yelled at the wolf to go away.
"After a couple of minutes it eventually let go of my dog," she said. "It kind of went into the woods a bit but then started barking at me."
Lalonde told CBC News that eventually the animal left her yard and that's when she brought her dog inside.
Once inside she noticed her dog, named Dog-Dog, was seriously injured.
"I managed to get him inside of the house and then he bit me pretty severely," she said.
Not wanting to put her children at risk, Lalonde put her dog back outside. Lalonde then went to the hospital to have herself checked. The bite resulted in her needing to get stitches.
'I'd never met a dog who loved holding hands until I met Dog-Dog,' Lalonde says. (Catherine Lalonde)
When she went back home she noticed her dog wasn't in the yard.
"I went out walking looking for him but I didn't see any signs," she said. "I couldn't find him. The next day, my friend and I went walking again out looking for him and we found a scene where ... there was tons of blood and fur and a little bit of bone and he had obviously been attacked again."
Lalonde said she immediately contacted conservation officers, who sent someone to the scene.
"He said that it was a wolf and that there was wolf tracks around," Lalonde told CBC News.
Lalonde said the conservation officer told her there could have been more than one wolf involved in the attack.
That has Lalonde concerned about her family's safety.
"I have two young kids," she said. "We walk down to the bus stop in the morning and my son often runs ahead. I'm not going to let him run ahead anymore right now. The [conservation officer] did say that once a wolf gets a dog they will often come back to the area because it's like they've had a pretty easy meal. So that's pretty scary."
Monitoring the situation
Shawn Hughes, the conservation officer field sergeant for Dawson City, says this isn't the first wolf sighting around the Klondike Valley this month, however it is the first attack on a pet.
He said reports have come in from residents who say they spotted wolves in Henderson Corner, Dredge Pond subdivision, and the Dome road subdivision. All of which are outside of the downtown core.
"Reports have come in with varying numbers of wolves," Hughes said.
"My theory is there's one pack of six or seven wolves that possibly has a lone wolf that's acting as kind of a satellite wolf. Maybe even kicked out of the pack for whatever reason."
Hughes said there was another report of a lone wolf on Monday evening spotted around the Dome Road area.
"At this time we're asking the public to avoid some key areas," he told CBC News, citing the upper ninth avenue trail and the mountain bike trails on the Dome.
He's asking all residents to be vigilant when it comes to protecting themselves, and their pets as conservation officers monitor the situation.
He recommends people keep their pets indoors as much as they can, and report wolf sightings, or any unusual wildlife behaviour, to the TIPP line at 1-800-661-0525.
Meanwhile, Lalonde said her family will always remember Dog-Dog and the years he spent with them.
"Dog-Dog chose me at the Dawson Humane Society my second summer in Dawson," she said. "He was scared and skittish but came right up to me and let me pet him when he wouldn't let anyone else near him. I'd never met a dog who loved holding hands until I met Dog-Dog.
"He was a good boy and he'll be sorely missed."