Coyote-dog attacks a rising concern

WAYZATA, Minn. - The rising reports of attacks on dogs by coyotes has Twin Cities pet owners more than a little nervous. DNR officials believe that coyotes are adapting to the urban environment and becoming comfortable with foraging during the daylight hours and not just at night.

Fitness trainer Chris Freytag found her 9-year-old schnauzer Dakota with severe wounds to his neck and body 12 days ago. Although she did not see the coyote attack, she believes that is what happened to Dakota. His injuries required veterinary care and multiple stitches.

"He had wounds up his back and then on his side, about 25 stitches, going down his leg and then underneath his leg. They were trying to rip this leg off," said Freytag.

Dakota was more fortunate than a 9-year-old Chihuahua-terrier mix in St. Louis Park 10 days ago. His owner, Scott Appell, found Chico dead in the front yard. A coyote is believed to be responsible.

"He was out here for maybe 10 minutes, just to do his stuff and come back in and it happened just like that," recalled Appell. "You just cannot be too careful anymore."

Chico suffered a gash to his neck and died from loss of blood. St. Louis Park recorded three attacks in three weeks and Chico was the third fatality in the last 14 months.

Appell noted that Chico was "very aggressive towards other animals." He thinks that may have been a factor in the dog's death. DNR officials say it is possible that hyper-active coyotes may be territorial and regard some dogs as rivals for their area. At any rate, their appearances are unnerving to Twin Cities area pet owners.

The DNR has advice for pet owners about how to react to coyotes they might see and how to keep their pets safe. Visitthe DNR's website for more information.


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