By, Katy Cable, TWR
A 3 min. Read
Coyote Alert! This photo is actually ripped from a news headline where a wife played a joke on her husband and sent him this image which she created with a photo app. Her husband FREAKED OUT! -And nearly went into cardiac arrest upon seeing this. Although we all had a good laugh over her joke, ironically, not a week later, I had a pet parent tell me a similar story. Unfortunately hers was not a funny prank and ended tragically.
In a suburban So Cal neighborhood where the lawns are perfectly manicured, and the streets are crowded with kids on skateboards and bikes, an unsuspecting little Maltipoo puppy named Pumba, fell prey to a coyote. This is not a rural area. The closest park is miles away. This home is not over-run with bushes and shrubs but features a tiny garden, large patio and a gi-normous swimming pool. Little Pumba was not roaming around lost in the woods but sitting in the kitchen getting ready to enjoy his evening meal.
No sooner had the dish been set down when Pumba, in the blink of an eye, was snatched and dragged out the small doggie door by a coyote. As as tragic as this story is, I chalked it up to an extremely rare occurrence. Then lo-and-behold, just that night on my social media news feed, I saw three other neighbors had found remains of dogs and cats on their lawns. -One lady went so far as to post graphic photos which will haunt me for months! Another post was a gentleman who issued a warning after having his small dog snatched by a coyote while he was out walking. The real kicker was when my best friend Alex, who lives over an hour away, lost her beloved cat, Juliette to a coyote.
Coyotes are no longer just found in rural, remote, wooded areas. They have now begun populating busy urban cities and beach communities. From late March, through the summer, AKA "COYOTE SEASON" coyotes are out in full force gathering food for their new pups. During this time, they are even more aggressive and resourceful and typically look for smaller, unsuspecting pets to prey on. As quickly as the flowers bloom and the weather gets warmer, so do the reports of coyote sightings. And even worse, heartbreaking stories of pets falling victim to them.
Don't be fooled, coyotes who dwell in more populated areas tend to be less fearful of people. Most will not hesitate to approach very closely and attack. In the amount of time it takes you to glance at a new text message, they can sneak up behind you, snatch up a small, unsuspecting pet and race off. Coyotes can scale 16ft solid wood walls, (see pic) and slide through small doggie doors faster than you can say "Dinner Time!"
In the dark or from far away, it is easy to mistake a coyote for a malnourished Husky-mix or German Shepard. Warn children THESE ARE NOT STRAY DOGS. They are WILD ANIMALS! I nearly made this mistake myself when I saw a coyote running through a popular neighborhood park. The closest thing to a wild animal in my beach community is a hungry squirrel so naturally I assumed someone's dog had gotten out. As I drove around trying to catch "the lost dog" and got within a few feet, I knew exactly why it wasn't wearing a collar. -IT WAS A COYOTE! It wasn't scared. It didn't run off but stood not 4 feet away waiting for my next move. I'm glad I didn't have the remains of a Subway Sandwich in my hand or I may not be here to write this blog.
Here's a few important tips to keep you and your pets safe.
🐾BE PREPARED 🐾
Avoid walking your pet from dusk-until-dawn. If you must use extreme caution and follow the tips below.
Pay close attention to both your dog and your surroundings. This isn't the time to chat on your phone or send text messages.
Use a short leash and keep dog at your side.
Bring a large stick. Invest in a deterrent spray, shreak alarm or loud whistle.
Walk in crowded, well-lit areas if possible. Especially during peak coyote times.
Stay clear, and keep your dog away from bushes, brush areas and other places that may serve as coyote dens.
If coyotes have have been spotted in your area, DO NOT GO OUT during peak feeding hours.
Seal off doggie doors.
Do not leave food outside.
Cut back shrubs, bushes or other areas that could serve as hiding spots for coyotes.
🐾IF A COYOTE APPROACHES🐾
BE AS BIG AND LOUD AS POSSIBLE. Wave your arms and throw rocks while backing up slowly.
Keep your pet away from the coyote. Do not let them approach.
DO NOT RUN
DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK
If you do sight a coyote CALL ANIMAL CONTROL. Also post the details (location/time) on social media sites for your area. Advise neighbors with pets/children. If coyotes have hit the beach, they can be anywhere. BE ON THE 👀 LOOKOUT and be SAFE!
💔💔This blog dedicated to Pumba, Juliette and all the other beloved pets who were killed by coyotes. 💔💔