Imagine Claire Reader’s horror when, after hearing a commotion outside her house in Bonita Springs, Calif., she saw a coyote approaching her little Corgi, Arlo, in her fenced front yard.
“I was in the kitchen at 6:56 a.m. when I looked out at Arlo barking and saw the coyote right there, so I yelled for my husband, who was getting ready to leave for work,” Reader told KSAT.
She told CBS8 that she wasn’t proud of Arlo at the time, or thinking he could handle the larger coyote. “No, it was more like, ‘You dummy!'” she said.
So Reader did what any pet owner would do. She ran outside to try to save her dog. “I set up a defensive posture trying to corral my dog, who’s not very obedient,” she told CBS8.
A doorbell video captured the coyote chasing Arlo and then the amazing thing that happened next — which really looks like a scene from a Looney Tunes cartoon.
After the coyote chases Arlo off camera, it’s next seen running for its life in the opposite direction as it’s chased away by the little dog.
The coyote got away without harming Arlo, who was brought inside the house by Reader’s husband.
Protecting Your Dog from Coyotes
Coyotes are becoming a familiar sight in urban and suburban areas across the country. Where I live in the Los Angeles area, dozens of pets, mostly cats, have been killed by coyotes who now make their home here.
“As we increase human populations and develop formerly green space, wild areas, we are coming face to face with more wildlife, like coyotes,” Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Project Coyote, told petMD.com.
Because of their genetic similarity, dogs and coyotes can be attracted to each other, Fox said, “and it’s often the dog that starts the chase behavior. But if an incident occurs, then the coyote gets blamed.”
Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe if you live in an area with coyotes.
- Don’t leave your dog unattended outside. Check your yard before you let your dog out, and if possible, take your dog out on a (non-retractable) leash.
- Avoid walking your dog during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk, when coyotes are the most active.
- Don’t feed your dog outside, and be sure to keep pet food and other edible items inside where coyotes can’t reach them.
- Keep your yard free of items that attract coyotes, such as birdseed, fallen fruit and dirty barbecue grills. Trim trees and shrubbery so coyotes can’t hide in them.
- Install coyote-proof fences that are at least 6 feet high, and/or motion-detection lights or sprinkler systems.
- Be aware that anti-coyote collars and jackets with sharp spikes may not necessarily protect your dog. Where I live, a small dog left unattended while wearing a spiky jacket was killed by coyotes.
Photo: KSAT 12/YouTube