Ashland Police Department Sergeant Tighe O'Meara said people should call police if they see a dog attacking a deer, but the deer may actually have initiated the fight.

Ashland Police Department Sgt. Tighe O'Meara said people should call police if they see a dog attacking a deer, but the deer may actually have initiated the fight.

"This is the time of year when sometimes deer attack dogs. Protective mothers see domesticated dogs as a threat to their newborns and attack the dogs," he said.

Last summer, several residents reported deer attacking their dogs while they were out walking their pets — even downtown.

One person said a deer had attacked her miniature Australian shepherd while the dog was in her backyard.

"When a deer attacks a dog, humans want to protect their dog. They interfere and can get beat up by the deer as its hooves are flailing around," Tighe said.

"It's certainly a dangerous situation."

Tighe said a Friday incident in which two joggers saw a loose dog grabbing a deer's leg is of concern.

It's not clear whether the deer or dog instigated the violent encounter, but the joggers said the dog appeared to be attacking the deer.

"If there is someone with a dog that is allowing it to run around and attack wildlife, we need to do something to address the dog's behavior and the owner's behavior," Tighe said.

Deer in Oregon generally give birth during May and June, according to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

If you see a fawn, leave it alone. Does leave their fawns alone for extended periods of time to feed and to avoid attracting attention to their newborns, according to ODFW.

Fawns are usually safe from predators because of their lack of scent and protective coloring, according to ODFW.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.