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Bear follows dog into house, attacks couple

NEWPORT, Pa. - A married couple was injured early Monday when a bear followed the family dog into their rural central Pennsylvania home and went on the attack, state Game Commission officials said.

Rich and Angie Moyer suffered back and leg injuries, respectively, but they weren't considered life-threatening, said Rich Moyer's mother, Leeann Moyer. Their 10-year-old son was at home at the time but was not involved, she said.

Leeann Moyer, who lives nearby, said her son let their dog, Brindie, outside at about 3 a.m. as he prepared to go to work at a warehouse, and then heard barking.

"He went to call her in," she said. "That's where everything went to hell."

She said the bear first attacked her son, then his wife after she arrived to investigate the commotion.

"He was the worst, of course, but she tried to help him when she came downstairs," Leeann Moyer said. "Then the bear turned on her. I guess (it) got her in the lower extremities, either in the leg or a thigh."

She said her son was injured on the back, near his neck.

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A Harrisburg Hospital spokesman said both were treated and discharged shortly after noon.

Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said Pennsylvania has not experienced a fatality from a black bear in more than a century. A wildlife conservation officer has set up a trap and is looking for the animal.

"It is our suspicion at this point that it was likely a female defending its cubs, because a bear encountering a dog is more likely to run away," Feaser said. "Black bears going into a home are an extremely rare situation."

He said investigators are also concerned that the bear may be rabid.

Feaser said Rich Moyer was bitten and scratched.