Scott Gooding of Buena Park told KABC one of his dogs, a 10-year-old multipoo named Sally, was dragged away by a coyote.
His other dog, Murphy, only just survived after receiving bites that required more than $2,000 worth of surgeries, according to CBSLA,
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Gooding returned to his home on July 12 to a horrific scene, he told KABC.
“I turned the corner and walking into the kitchen, and there’s blood all over the floor in the kitchen,” said Gooding.
The coyote had got in through the dog door, according to KABC.
“Just the sweetest little dog. She was carried away. Just very tiny,” Gooding told CBSLA.
According to local reports, the city of Buena Park has not indicated a rise in coyote attacks, but is still warning people to keep their pets inside and to keep the lids on trash cans.
Beuna Park lies about 12 miles southeast of the center of Los Angeles in Orange County.
Last month, a few miles away in San Dimas, a family returned home to find the remains of their Yorkie, Noah, on the floor, after a coyote apparently slipped through a gap in the door.
“My husband walked in the room and started screaming, so we knew something horrible had happened,” Naisi Vanthiel told NBCLA.
According to the news station, the family believe that the coyote slipped through a 5-inch gap in the glass sliding door which they had locked in place to allow their dogs to come and go between the yard and the house.
They found their other dog, Niko, shivering inside the home.
“What puts us at peace is that we feel like he was protecting Niko,” a family member told NBCLA.
Many local people quoted by news reports say that the number of coyote attacks on pets has been increasing.
However, experts say that although more stories may be circulating, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the coyote population has grown or that they have become more prone to attacking pets.
The coyote population is “stable,” according to biologist Justin Brown of the National Park Service, who has been studying urban coyotes in Southern California for more than five years.
He told The Mercury News that reports of more attacks in certain areas as being anecdotal.
Coyotes can be as large as a medium-sized dog, weighing up to 44 pounds.
Unlike their hapless cartoon namesake Wile E Coyote, the species’ reputation for cunning is well-earned, according to experts: they are bold, adaptable, opportunistic, and crafty.
Coyotes are so adaptable that unlike wolves and some related species, they can switch between operating alone, in pairs, or as a pack, according to the needs of the moment.
“Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control,” according to National Geographic.
“They are by nature fearful of humans. However, if coyotes are given access to human food and garbage, their behavior changes. They lose caution and fear. They may begin to harass domestic livestock and pets.”
The California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife offers the following guidance on coyotes:
Never feed or attempt to tame coyotes. The result may be deadly conflicts with pets or livestock, or serious injuries to small children.
- Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
- Trim ground-level shrubbery to reduce hiding places.
- Be aware that coyotes are more active in the spring, when feeding and protecting their young.
- If followed by a coyote, make loud noises. If this fails, throw rocks in the animal’s direction.
- If a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact the nearest Department of Fish and Wildlife or law enforcement office.
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