Beware of "Dog"

Submitted by Danny Misch

      Although it is very likely many people have never seen a coyote near their home before, or anywhere in real life for that matter, coyotes are actually lurking everywhere.  The point of this blog post is not to care anyone but is to inform the reader.  Coyotes, like many wild animals, are losing their lifelong homes due to development in once forested areas.  This forces the coyotes to find somewhere else to live, usually right in your own neighborhood.  There has been one confirmed death from a coyote attack to a person meaning coyotes will probably not target you but your household pets are a different story. 

     Coyotes are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.  They will go after anything from small rodents to even deer.  This blog was brought to our attention after Dr. Walsh saw a rather large coyote (which can range in size form 20-50 pounds) running through the backyard of our clinic.  We have also received a few reports of coyote attacks to family pets, a big target for coyotes in Northwest Indiana!  When letting your dogs out at night, especially small dogs, stay with the dog and be sure you know your surroundings.   Coyotes do not only carry the threat of attacking your animals, but they can also carry rabies, heartworm, leptospirosis, intestinal parasites and mange to name a few (a good reason to be sure to protect against heartworm all year round!!!)  There are also several ideas floating around of ways to protect other outdoor pets such as cats.  Giving cats escape routes such as planks in trees for them to use as a safe place from the coyotes are great ways to provide safety.  Please remember to provide safety for your pets, especially at night!

Comments

  1. Carole Ladwig says:

    I recently moved to Crown Point, just behind Oak Hill animal hospital on 117th Place.
    Yesterday, 5/16/2011, at 2:30 am, my neighbor directly across the street had his tiny, white female dog snatched up and killed by a pack of coyotes. I don’t know if he has chosen to report this to the authorites, although I have begged him to do so. I have 4 small dogs from 12-15 pounds. We are now terrified to let them out at any time of the day. My yard is fenced in with a 6 foot privacy fence-but-I was told that coyotes will jump over any fence if they spot prey they want to devour.
    My neighbor directly next door feeds canned cat food to the neighborhood feral cats. She does this daily and also leaves other food out which we spot racoons feasting on in the evening. I have warned her that this behaviour will attract coyotes, and it certainly did.
    I was told by DNR that now that they have found another food source, (my neighbors innocent little dog), that they WILL be back and to be very diligent in letting my dogs out.
    If the public would quit feeding wildlife the coyotes would possibly stay away, but then again, why should they? We are leading their prey right to our doorsteps for them to feast on, they don’t even have to hunt for them!

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