Earlier this week an announcement was shared about a dog being attacked clear over in California by a coyote while protecting its younger sister and then surrendered to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe because the dog owners were afraid of more attacks that they would not be able to ward off. A few days later, swing northeast and back to the Chicago area where NBC News’, Emily Florez, delivered a new story about Roger Nelson’s pups being charged by a pack of coyotes just as they exited his door.
What is frightening is that the coyotes really have no real place to turn and so they are working at reclaiming land that once was undomesticated and was theirs to roam about freely. How can we really blame these wild animals for seeking shelter and food in an area where there is shelter and food instead of where people drive them to that is barren and without a means of everyday needs? Who is really to blame and how can we fix this situation and protect the pets we know and love at the same time?
Many local areas, including Wheaton, Illinois, have ordinances established to help protect our pets. Some really good precautionary ideas include being more vigilant when a coyote has been seen in your area – especially during the dusk and nighttime. People may want to accompany their dogs, keeping them on a leash when they need to go out at night. Keeping your pet in an enclosed, secure area to do its business is also a really good idea.
Fences, if installed, should be at least six feet high since coyotes are able to leap up to that height. In addition, you may want to bury your fence two to three feet below the ground’s surface to prevent the coyotes from tunneling under your fence to get to your pets.
Although your dog may love an evening walk, this is a prime hunting time for coyotes. Short leashes are recommended if you really need to take your dog out in the evening.
A good way to prevent a coyote from visiting your yard is to keep any type of food source from being available. That means that animals should be fed inside the house. If you have any fruit trees, keep the yard clean from fallen fruit. Also, it is imperative to keep lids on trash cans and, if possible, to keep the trash in a secure area to keep the coyotes from getting into the cans.
Thankfully the West Suburban Chicago dogs and puppy were okay as is the recovering Maltipoo in California. The difference in the two attacks is that the California attack happened in the backyard where the attack on Friday on South Herbert Road about a mile from the Des Plaines River, attacked Nelson’s door, breaking panes of glass after chasing his Beagle, Golden Retriever and his German Shepherd puppy into their house. Also the Friday night attack consisted of a pack of four coyotes that jumped Nelson’s three-and-a-half foot fence.
Police Sgt. Bill Gutschick made the following statement, "Coyotes do not know the difference between pets and the wild creatures they hunt, so try to protect pets by accompanying them outdoors.” He also stated that in his 25 years of police service that he had never witnessed a coyote attack to a home before.
We, as responsible pet owners must do everything necessary to assure the safety and welfare of our pets. We also must not blame the other living creatures that are out there just trying to survive.