Owners devastated after dogs killed by bee swarm

Published: Sep. 11, 2015 at 8:02 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:18 PM MST
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Three-year-old Ella was one of two dogs which died Friday following a bee attack.
Three-year-old Ella was one of two dogs which died Friday following a bee attack.

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Two dog owners said they are at a loss for words after their two German Shepherds were killed by a swarm of bees at their home on the 2300 block of South Window Rock Place Friday afternoon.

"I just want to be left alone," said the dog owner, who did not want to release her name.

Tucson Fire Department crews responded to a 911 call around 2 p.m., after a woman reported finding her two dogs dead in the backyard, according to a news release.

She said there were bees swarming very close to her home and she went into her home as quickly as possible.

When TFD crews arrived on scene, the bees were aggressive and swarming very close to a metal storage shed in the backyard near the home. They determined a beehive was under the metal shed.

Both the owner of the property and the dog owner said they had no idea the hive was there.

Several bees made it into the house, but firefighters were able to remove them.

It is unknown how many times the dogs were stung, but fire crews said the signs were obvious that they had been attacked by the bees.

The owner said the dogs were 3-year-old Ella and 2-year-old Koda, a male and female. She said she had just gotten Ella not too long before this happened.

Many neighbors said they're still in shock.

"I panic because I have two dogs that I love deeply and I just couldn't imagine finding my dogs dead," said Amanda Zeagler, who lives two doors down from the dog owners. "My heart goes out to her."

One neighbor said she worries about the children in the area.

"It's scary because my God kids are here and they play out here and they have a dog back there so, what if it happened to one of them?," said next-door-neighbor Maribel Villalobos. "That would've been bad."

Pest control finished treating the hive around 6 p.m. Friday evening. They said most of the bees are gone and are no longer aggressive.

The crew plans to come back to the home on Monday to remove the honeycomb.

TFD issued the following safety advice regarding bees:

  • The best safety advice is to avoid an encounter with unfriendly honey bees.
  • Almost all cases of Africanized honey bee attacks can be traced back to some provocation.
  • Once the bees get riled up, the most important thing to do is RUN away as fast as possible. Do not try to retrieve belongings nearby. Do not try to stand still in an attempt to fool the bees. Do not try to fight the bees, they have the advantage of numbers and the gift of flight. The more you flail your arms, the madder they will get. Just run indoors as fast as possible.

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