FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – If the story of Toby the Yorkshire Terrier serves as any proof, coyotes seem to be getting more brazen in their attacks on family pets as they walk city streets.
Sunday evening, Kim Bailey let out her two dogs after dinner, as she always does at her Sycamore Hills home. Only one of the animals made it back to the door when it was time time to come in. Toby was not seen, but heard across the yard, near Covington Road.
“It was a weird noise,” Bailey explained. “It was a bark/yip. It was faint and kept getting faint.”
Bailey put on her shoes and ventured into the dark beyond the family’s invisible fence toward the tree line near the road. After hearing a yip below her feet, she found Toby with his electric fence collar in his mouth.
“I saw a lot of blood and knew I had to take him to the hospital,” Bailey said about what she found after cleaning the dog off.
Bailey said she thought a fox attacked the dog, she has seen foxes in the yard before. The emergency veterinarian told her the damage was too severe… it had to be a coyote.
When it was all said and done, Toby suffered puncture wounds on each side, two broken clavicles, a couple of broke ribs and a bruised neck. He faces recovery and rehab with pain medication at the animal hospital before being allowed to go home.
Amanda Hilliard of Northeast Indiana Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital told WANE 15 the dog was very lucky because of where the trauma happened. A coyote bite to the neck would have been deadly.
Bailey gives credit to Toby’s electric fence collar for helping save his life. The bite marks were in the area where the collar hung on the dog. It’s possible it sent out a mild zap as the dog was carried past the fence by the coyote, forcing the animal to drop the terrier.
‘A pretty common occurrence’
According to Amanda Hilliard, a doctor of veterinary medicine, coyote attacks are becoming a common occurrence.
“So many of these coyotes are getting bold,” Hilliard said.
She added that people are spotting coyotes more as communities stretch into rural areas where they have been living.
“They’re especially active around dawn or dusk, but can also be out during the day,” Hilliard added, with the suggestion of pet owners going outside with their dogs or at least keeping a close eye out.
Bailey echoes that tip.
“It can happen in a matter of minutes,” Bailey said. “We felt safe because there’s traffic and not a lot of wooded areas. You wouldn’t think they would be in your front yard.”
Despite Toby’s serious injuries, Bailey doesn’t hold ill will against the coyotes, just the situation.
“Some people say they’re mad at the coyotes and they should all be killed,” Bailey answered when asked about her final thoughts on the incident. “They’re animals just like all the other animals.”