November 22, 2014


Avon Lake woman attacked by deer in backyard

Cathy Krajny

Cathy Krajny

AVON LAKE — Bambi isn’t always the cute creature out of a Disney movie — in the real world, deer are wild animals and sometimes dangerous.

An Avon Lake resident learned this over the weekend after a deer attacked her in her own backyard.

According to a police report, Cathy Krajny, 59, let her dog out of her Parkview Drive residence when a deer came around the house and tried to attack her cockapoo.

According to Krajny, the deer turned on her when she tried to rescue her dog, stood on its hind legs and struck her face with a hoof. After striking her, the deer attempted to charge again, but Krajny told police she was able to pick up her dog and get back inside.

While inside, Krajny noticed she was bleeding and she woke her husband, who took her to the Cleveland Clinic emergency room in Avon.

“I think the city needs to get the deer population under control, and people also need to be aware that deer can be dangerous,” said Krajny, who received three stitches to her right cheek, a black eye and bruising on her back.

Avon Lake fire Lt. John Rogers said calls regarding deer usually involve vehicle collisions, and this is the first instance he’s heard of in Avon Lake where a deer attacked a person.

“I’ve been on the department for 29 years, and I can’t recall a deer versus human,” Rogers said.

Krajny said she still enjoys seeing deer, but she will now be on guard when they are near.

“I have a feeling I’ll still enjoy walking in places like the Kopf Reservation in Avon Lake and seeing the deer in the woods,” Krajny said. “But I think that’s where they belong.”

City officials have been discussing deer overpopulation for the past year, but have stated that Avon Lake’s previous culling ordinance was too restrictive and ineffective. New legislation allowing the city and private citizens to manage white-tailed deer populations was given a second reading at a special City Council meeting Monday night.

The ordinance would permit taking of deer in city limits with archery equipment as long as bow hunters submit an application for a municipal deer control permit to police with maps detailing where they intend to hunt, the property’s total acreage, signatures of all property owners, names and ages of all shooters that will be on the property, Ohio hunting license verification and proof of completion of the Ohio hunter education course.

The police chief or his designee would also visit properties to determine that shooting archery equipment would be safe on particular properties.

Not everyone is happy with the proposed ordinance. Several residents expressed safety concerns, including Bay Hill Drive resident Michelle Murphy, who said the ordinance should include more safety standards.

“This Council must protect the 22,581 residents of this community by incorporating bare minimum standards in the hunting legislation you’re considering,” Murphy said.

City Council member Dave Kos, 4th Ward, introduced several amendments to the ordinance on Monday night, including minimum acreage requirements, excluding culling or hunting operations on properties adjacent to schools or daycare centers and conducting criminal background checks on those applying for deer control permits.

Kos ultimately withdrew several of the proposed amendments because other members of Council and Mayor Greg Zilka said they needed more time to review the proposed changes and discuss them with the police chief before the next City Council meeting.

Contact Jon Wysochanski at 329-7123 or


  • golfingirl


    Last night there were 17 deer in our backyard, including 3 newborn fawns.

    When they attack humans, it is time to “thin the herd.”

    • Matthew Baldauf

      Thats kind of a legitimate argument in Avon Lake, considering i remember 10 years ago there was a buttload of wood land that is now packed to capacity with developments. Here is the line supposed to be drawn?

      • golfingirl

        I have an idea……

        Capture them and move them to cities where developers are no longer building.

        Cities where the human population is leaving, buildings are being razed and open land is increasing, not decreasing.

        Cities where the only animals currently on the streets are drug dealers and other criminals.

        Do any nearby cities come to mind?

        • Creepy Gun Toting Cracker

          Ship ‘em to Detroit?

  • Phil Blank

    Deer usually run away when humans are near.

    A few years ago I surprised one on the other side of the creek, we just looked at each other, I spoke softly to it, but it pawed the ground and ran away.

    I’m in my 60s, when I was a small child, there was Santa and his deer on Broadway in front of one of the theaters. I stood in front of that deer, look it directly in the eyes.
    That deer went up on its hind legs and kicked me right under the chin knocking me on my butt. I wasn’t hurt, no cuts and I had so many clothes on, landing on my butt, I felt nothing.

    I laugh about it now.

  • susan hill brown

    We have a good piece of legislation that is already LAW. The new legislation proposed by Councilman-at-large John Shondel and the Environmental Committee removes all the safety factors in our current law. I don’t want to see anyone hurt but I also do not want bow and arrow hunters being able to shoot without some restrictions. Over and over it was said it will be up to the Chief of Police or his designee to decide the restrictions. So maybe the current chief will exercise common safety sense but who is to say that the next chief and/or mayor will do the same. PLEASE Avon Lake citizens come to the JULY 14, 2014 COUNCIL MEETING WHEN THIS WILL AGAIN COME UP FOR DISCUSSION.

    • Mark B

      Make them hunt or shoot from deer stands in a tree , then any missed shots will just be directed at the ground and not have a stray arrow winding up in someone or their back yard .

      • susan hill brown

        AGREE. But there are members of council that don’t seem to understand this. Ward 4 Councilman David Kos was in favor of ALL SAFETY FACTORS but it is being a hard sell – even though the legislation and is still law is trying to be changed by therese.
        Mark B you are welcome to come to help support SAFETY first.

  • Joe Smith

    I guess she ended up with a real “Buckeye”
    Sorry, I could not help myself!

    • stilitz

      That was good!

  • golfingirl

    Through December, there were 83 deer/motor vehicle accidents in Avon Lake in 2013.

    Average of one every four days, in a very small city.

    I suppose we will just have to “wait” for a fatality to occur before anything is done.

    Maybe a motorcyclist, or maybe it will take a teenager driving and hitting a tree to avoid a deer in the road.

    I hope the city is insured. When this happens, and the city has not taken the appropriate steps to ensure the safety its residents, knowing it was a problem, it will be litigated.

    So, how much is the life of a deer worth? More than a persons? I am sure some think so.

  • stargazer2012

    Yes, we too live with the deer next to one of the Lorain County Metro Parks. I have a feeling that there may have been a fawn/fawns nearby. You need to be careful when you see those little ones, mother not to far away and very protective.

  • Jeff

    Have we forgotten that a deer is still a wild animal!!!!!!!Any animal will protect itself when it feels threatened including man!!!!!I’m not sticking up for the deer in this case I’m just saying you may see more of this in the future when you have a run in with wildlife and humans!!!!!

  • hottamomma

    My favorite guy accortti can take care of it!

  • shadow

    For a deer to attack like that I think he/she is not healthy. Rabies? Wasting disease is common in deer and makes them act strange and eventually kills them. I would be interested to hear what the Conservation Department thinks.