A Langley couple says their family pet was killed by an aggressive doe protecting her fawn, and several B.C. communities are facing the same problem.

Deer are often thought of as gentle, timid creatures, but Linda and Greg Marchant say that's not always the case.

Linda was gardening in her backyard when she looked up to see her toy poodle, Sandy, face-to-face with a doe. She screamed, but neither her dog nor the deer moved.

"I thought I'd better get a rake just in case, and in the time my back was turned [Sandy] was trampled by the deer," she said.

The dog's back was broken in several places. Sandy, who had been part of the family for 17 years, was so injured it had to be put down.

Wildlife experts say deer view dogs as predators. In Kimberly last month, a woman was viciously attacked by two deer while protecting her pugs, and disturbing video from Cranbrook shows a different deer trampling a dog.

Deer concerns in B.C. aren't limited to aggressive behaviour; some communities say they are struggling to deal with a growing deer population and the problems that go with it.

Capital Regional District chair Geoff Young says in Victoria and surrounding communities, deer populations are invading gardens and farmer's crops with increased frequency.

"People are concerned that the only mechanism is going to be an actual shooting of the deer or culling or controlling the population in some very direct way," Young said.

"Obviously and unattractive prospect."

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro