Coyotes Just not a Danger in the Country
Congratulations to Bonnie, who won the copy of “The Last Place You’d Look.” Congratulations to Bonnie and thanks to everyone who entered and thanks to Carole Moore for providing the copy of the book for the contest! ___________________________________________________________________________________
In searching for material for a pet column I pen every other week, I found this story about a Maltese named Jake who lived with his owners in a suburban Washington state home.
They returned from work one night to find his decapitated body under their deck. Jake had access to the outdoors through a doggy door, a convenience many working pet parents have for their four legged family members.
Jake’s family home backed up to woods, according to news articles and although Jake’s owners first thought it was a human who had entered their yard and killed their dog, veterinarians who examined Jake’s body said it was coyotes.
Although I know coyotes will kill small pets, I had no idea that during mating season, they will kill animals they feel are rivals, taking the heads of their prey and burying them elsewhere.
We never left our dogs out in the yard of our suburban home. When I was a young adult and also had Maltese, they remained crated during the day, as I could go home during lunch. Later, when I worked too far away from home, we left our dogs on hard flooring with newspapers.
While it was tempting to install a doggy door, we were more afraid of “bunchers,” people who steal unattended dogs to sell to research laboratories.
When our neighborhood was the victim of a series of daytime home invasions at one point, we even installed an alarm to further protect our miniature Dachshund, Hershey, who, at that time, was an only doggy child.
We definitely also do not allow our small dogs out here in the rural area. Neighbors have told stories of a Dachshund being picked up by a huge hawk and we are of course, aware of the normal wild predators such as bears, coyotes and even mountain lions, which we believe took our Emma from us.
After learning of the increased danger during coyote mating season, we will definitely be even more on the alert.
Do you live in a suburb where coyotes have been sighted? Were you aware of the increased danger to pets during coyote mating season? Do you have a doggy door or do you keep your dogs in the yard when you’re not at home?