Shannon Davis was a single mother of two who worked hard to provide for her family. One day, she was shocked to come home to find her beloved home had been broken into. Here's her remarkable story.
Up until the fateful encounter, Shannon Davis enjoyed a rather simple life in Winsted, Connecticut, where she lived with her two sons and cat. Life wasn't always easy. But at the end of the day, she held her head high.
The small, quiet town of Winsted provided Shannon and her two boys with everything they needed to lead a simple and happy life together. There was a very homey feel to the town, with many of its residents being retirees and families with young kids. But an unwanted visitor would soon change everything.
Lots of Love
As a single mom who worked a full-time job to support her family, Shannon found herself working even harder than most moms on a daily basis. Most mothers who raise two sons can tell us that it's no easy task - so managing it on her own was certainly a challenge.
Fortunately for the mom-of-two, Winsted was a great place that had everything her little family would need. Its public schools were rated "above average," and the town had such a familial feel to it that she'd always wanted her kids to be surrounded by.
'Jack of All Maids'
After dropping her children off at school every morning, Shannon would then head over to start her own day, working hard to earn money for her family. Fortunately, she had a more flexible schedule than typical employees, since she ran her own business, called "Jack of All Maids."
She was the owner of a company that offered cleaning services to people, such as real estate cleaning, laundry services, decluttering, and redecorating. Her business also had a Facebook page, where her clients could contact her to make appointments and ask questions.
Giving Back to Her Community
She also regularly updated her page with several posts that offered cleaning and organizing tips to her hundreds of followers. After all, she knew how hard it could be keeping a living space organized with kids in the house. Community was important to her, and she wanted to help in any way she could.
It all came down to her emphasis on family and community. She would get up every morning, drop her kids off at school, and go straight to work. It was a tough job, but she had lots of experience in running her business - and it provided her with the stable income she needed.
A Strange Feeling
One summer day in June, Shannon took the kids to school and headed off to work like she always did. Throughout the long hours she spent making one client's home spotless, she couldn't help but notice a persistent feeling that there something unusual about that day...
But Shannon, busy as she was, didn't dwell on it for too long. Instead, she focused on ensuring her client was happy with her work, and after deciding to call it a day, she got in her car and drove back home. Little did she know, a huge surprise was waiting to reveal itself when she arrived...
Tensions Were High
Shannon parked her car in her driveway, feeling rather exhausted after a long day at work. But as the single mother got out of her car and approached the house, she could tell something wasn't right. She looked around cautiously, trying to figure out what could be the problem.
But it didn't take long before she found her answer. A few seconds after arriving home, she spotted her cat sitting outside the house, staring at the window. She noted that it was rather unusual behavior for the little feline and guessed that something wasn't right inside the house...
But it wasn't just the cat's persistent glare at the window that gave Shannon the uneasy feeling about her house that day. Soon, she realized the screen had been taken right out of the frame of her window - and that's when the mother-of-two began to panic...
In all her time living in the house, the screens hadn't been taken out of their places - except when she cleaned them. As far as she knew, both of her sons were still at school, so her mind didn't even consider the possibility that one of them could be behind it...
Trouble Was in the Air
Then an even more horrifying thought struck the already terrified mother: what if her sons were in trouble? Could they have possibly come home from school on their own, and walked right into trouble? Her mind began racing, and she felt her heart pound a little faster in her chest.
Should she call the police? she found herself wondering. She had no idea what she was about to walk into and thought it best to approach the house slowly - without being spotted by the mysterious visitor. She clutched her phone tightly in her hand, ready to call the cops at the first sign of danger.
Who Could It Be?
The brave woman slowly entered the house, looking around for any clues that could reveal who broke into her home. She also looked for signs that one of her children could be in the house. But the first few steps she took didn't offer her any valuable information. Until...
Shannon finally reached the kitchen... and she was shocked. She had found herself in the middle of a bizarre scene in her own home: the intruder had shown no signs of being after money, jewelry, or any other possessions that may have monetary value. Instead...
Chaos in the Kitchen
When Shannon Davis, having tiptoed slowly and quietly ever since she set foot in her house that afternoon, finally reached her kitchen, her jaw dropped. The intruder - whoever they were - had raided her entire kitchen and left a complete mess behind.
Not only that, but they hadn't even bothered to cover their tracks. "There was a lollipop stuck to the rug. It pulled out the snack tray. It was pulled to the edge, but there was only a package of vanilla wafers, and those dots and that was it," Davis later shared.
Following the Signs
She looked around her kitchen, completely bewildered at what she was witnessing. Shannon couldn't find a logical explanation for why a burglar - or any intruder, for that matter - would go for the packages of food stored in her kitchen cupboards. Unless it was someone very hungry...
Could it possibly be the work of a person too poor to afford food? One question after another kept popping up in her mind, and not one of them had been given a proper answer yet. But as she went back outside, she saw something that finally explained everything.
The Moment of Truth
She stared in complete shock as a creature much larger than the human she'd originally imagined lurking about her home poked its head out of the window. She finally realized why there was no screen in the frame and why she'd come home to her cat staring so strangely at it...
It was a bear. Not an uncommon visitor in the state of Connecticut, but certainly not one she'd expected to break into her house while she was at work. As she began connecting all the dots in her mind, she realized it was this animal's shadow she'd seen dart across the window before.
Calling for Help
Shannon ran downstairs to tell her neighbor what was going on and asked if they could help her get the animal out of her house. The kind neighbor rushed back with her to help her figure out a plan - bears in Connecticut were no joke, and residents knew not to underestimate their strength.
Shannon, her neighbor, and several others living in Connecticut had heard several horror stories about bears breaking into homes. As the two of them arrived back at her house, they discovered that the bear had gone back inside the house - it was nowhere to be seen from outside.
A Narrow Escape
Shannon's mind began racing: She was too afraid to go into her own home, knowing the bear could still be rummaging through her cupboards. She later explained that she could still hear it moving in the house, telling Eyewitness News, "[The bear] started banging on that door over there."
Luckily for Davis, the large creature didn't cause too much damage to her house, according to her. It was finally able to make its way out of the house without hurting anybody. "The bear went in my room and climbed out my window," she later revealed to the news channel.
'What's for Dinner?'
But the real question was: what had attracted the bear to Shannon Davis' home in the first place? According to wildlife officials in Connecticut, bears are mainly drawn to food - experts advise residents of the area to eliminate all sources of food that may bring these creatures in.
"It was almost like, 'What's for dinner,'" Shannon laughed as she described the chaotic situation that had happened in her own home that day. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reported that the population in Shannon's area had been growing in the past years.
A Rising Threat
The 20% increase in bear numbers "is a pretty big increase for us," Chris Lewis of the Environmental Conservation Police Division said. He further advised citizens to "remove the food source, and the bears don't have a reason to come to visit your yard or house."
But according to a comment on a video of the bear that Shannon shared with her Facebook friends, the pop tarts in the kitchen cupboard weren't exactly why the predator broke into her home. Instead, she revealed that the bear had actually been there long before she discovered it that day...
More to the Story
The caption on the short video Shannon had filmed and posted read, "Looks like someone moved in while I was a work! Omg…. Watch you will see!!!! My cat was staring very oddly at the window, which made me stop and look before I went to the door….. OMG…Wow!"
But in the comments section of the post, she revealed, "he was born in our basement last season. They found a way into the basement and had babies, and so now that he is all alone, this is what he knows." Poor little cub. Shannon was glad he made it out of her house alright.
“I’m Sorry if This Upsets People”
But the question that remained was: why didn't Shannon call the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) when she saw a bear in her house? After several suggestions in the comments section urging her to do so, she responded with one simple answer...
"I'm sorry if this upsets people, but I am not going to call DEEP," she wrote. "We need to be more aware and learn how to protect both our families and theirs. They mean no harm to us…learn to find ways to make better rather than just judge. He was hungry…. He meant no harm to anyone."
Pointing the Finger
Her heartwarming comment received 51 reactions from people who appreciated what she had to say about the bear's intrusion. The mother-of-two also added that she believes human beings are partly responsible for the increase in the bear population over the years...
"It's also because of how much garbage we as humans leave out now. It was never known for bears to have more than 2-3 cubs and they literally hibernated all winter. They don't have to anymore because humans literally spend so much on food and then toss it in the trash… And get mad when they eat what we threw away," she explained.
Learning a Lesson
She also explained that she had accidentally made it too easy for the bear cub to get into her house that day. "I left my window open," she confessed in the comments on her video. "I now know not to do that anymore." It was no wonder the bear was able to remove the screen, then!
Several of her friends left comments that expressed their concern over her not calling DEEP to inform them of what had happened. But Shannon was adamant that calling the agency would only bring more trouble. And it makes sense with a little background knowledge of the bear situation in Connecticut...
The Tragic Reality
Since bear sightings have been on the rise across the small state - especially in the northwest - people have been reporting more break-ins and instances where the creatures are being spotted in close proximity to humans. And this has had some unfortunate consequences for the bears...
One of the bears was euthanized in Canton, Connecticut, after it broke into several homes in one area. Another woman in Winstead - the same town in which Shannon lived - had reported another bear breaking into her house the same month. But what was the right thing to do?
Another resident reported a similar situation. "I moved into my house and within two weeks, I found a bear looking at me through a sliding glass window which really freaked me out, he was probably three or four hundred pounds," said Mike Zibel, who lives in West Hartford.
Perhaps the top-ranking city in the state of Connecticut for bear sightings is Avon, which reported 634 sightings in the year of 2021 alone. The city of Simsbury isn't too far behind, with 622 sightings, while another city called Farmington reported 403.
Tracking the Numbers
Experts in Connecticut get to work every winter, tracking down dens in culverts, under porches, and in backyards. Their main goal is to find out how many new bear cubs are born each spring to keep track of how much the population has grown in the region.
Not only do these experts keep records of the number of births among the species, but they also keep track of lineage. Every year, they come back to check in with the bears to estimate the mortality rate - among both the cubs and the adults - in the state.
Across the Country...
Across the country, bears are notorious for invading the homes of people who live near their habitats. Sometimes, the stories don't have happy endings like Shannon's. One example is an elderly woman in Tennessee, who also recently found herself fighting off a black bear inside her home.
Ms. Williams lived near the gorgeous Smoky Mountains National Park in a home surrounded by a beautiful lawn and apple trees. Soon enough, she found herself in a situation that sent her into fight-or-flight mode. As beautiful as it was living near the huge park, there was a price to pay...
A Popular Attraction
Near her home roamed many bears that she often saw walking across her own front lawn. It may sound crazy, but Altha Williams had gotten pretty used to it. She had always guessed the reason they came to visit her was because of the several apple trees she had.
She had to admit, she would have preferred if there weren't any wild animals wandering around her yard, but she wasn't about to cut down her precious apple trees. She found other ways of preventing the bears from getting too close. And she always made sure she was prepared for the worst.
One day, it finally happened: Altha was sitting in a chair on her front porch when she noticed a few figures walking towards her. A few seconds later, she realized it was a small family of bears that consisted of a mother and her three cubs. And the four of them did not hesitate to walk right up to her.
The elderly woman knew that a human in the presence of a mother and her cubs was not the ideal situation to be in, since the mother can become very aggressive toward anyone who may be a threat to her young. Altha realized she was probably in a life-threatening situation.
Fight or Flight
Not only that, but she had no one to help her deal with it - she was all alone in facing these intruders. Normally, Altha was able to scare away any bears that came too close to her - but not this one. To her shock, the bear approached her instead of running away. And no one was around to help her.
However, Altha managed to fight it off. And she did it with the only weapon she had at her disposal: Her lawn chair. "It just made a lunge at me," Williams said, remembering that the bear's "face was right in my face," CBS's Tennessee-based WVLT-TV reported.
"I was just sitting here, hadn't been here more than two or three minutes. Evidently it heard me," she continued, describing the scenario that happened in June 2022. Fortunately for the 90-year-old woman, the only wounds she was left with after the battle was a cut on her arm.
She had managed to survive the attack without suffering any major injuries. "I've been praising the Lord ever since then, because I may not be here," Williams said. And although the elderly woman got out of the situation almost completely fine, the bear wasn't as lucky...
Capturing the Animal
Just like the DEEP in Connecticut, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency was forced to track down the mother who had inflicted the injuries on Altha Williams. When they finally captured her, they unfortunately, had no choice but to euthanize her.
Just like in Connecticut, bears who attack people and invade their homes often meet an unfortunate fate in order to keep the area's residents safe. WVLT News spoke to Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency spokesperson Matt Cameron about what happened to Williams, and he said she did the right thing.
A Valuable Lesson
He also mentioned that food is the main reason bears are drawn to people's homes. "It's one of the worst things you can do for bears," Cameron said. He also went on to explain that when bears learn to associate humans with food, encounters shoot up.
After hearing several stories of bears coming into people's homes, it seems like humans can also do their part in making sure bears aren't attracted to residential areas. By keeping neighborhoods clean and getting rid of food sources, we can definitely help build a safe environment for both humans and surrounding wildlife.