LA VERNE (CBSLA.com) — A La Verne family has a heavy heart after losing its beloved collie to a bear attack.

The dog’s name was Saber.

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Neighbors said they are used to bears walking through yards, hopping in pools, foraging for food and rummaging through garbage cans, but nothing prepared them for losing a pet in such a disturbing way.

Saber’s owner, Patti Behrens, can’t believe he is gone.

“I think this particular bear is definitely some kind of rogue bear. He’s come like every night.”

Around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, she said she heard strange noises coming from the garage.

Then she heard scratching noises at the door.

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She called 911.

Police came and they searched for the bear. Then they opened the garage door.

“And there was Saber,” she said. “On the ground in the garage. The bear had grabbed him by the neck. So he was bleeding from the neck.”

Saber died a short time later, Behrens said.

“My concern and fear is that [the bear] is like aggressively pursuing,” she said.

Behrens believes the bear was in her garage looking for garbage, but her trash cans were empty.

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She and police wanted to warn others to keep their pets indoors.