Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coyote attacks terrier, dog bites back

Coyotes see your pet, alone in the yard, as fast food. Their barks are the dinner bell. Don't leave your dog alone in your yard.
Coyote attacks terrier, Dog bites back -Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Wire fox terrier protects Rossmoor owner and small dog from aggressive coyote By JAIMEE LYNN FLETCHER The Orange County Register
ROSSMOOR – A coyote was apparently no match for a terrier that confronted the aggressive scavenger in his back yard, fought back and chased the coyote until it scampered away. Eric Christensen said his wife was in their back yard near Martha Ann and Kempton drives about 7:40 p.m. Saturday with two of their three dogs when a coyote jumped a 6-foot-tall wall and landed within 10 feet of his wife and pets. Christensen said his wife was holding their 8-pound silky terrier while their larger wire fox terrier, Ronnie, ran in front of the coyote, blocking his owner and the silky terrier. The coyote clamped down on Ronnie’s shoulder but the terrier fought back and bit the coyote, sending the wild animal running for the wall. Ronnie chased the coyote until it was out of sight, Christensen said. Ronnie suffered two puncture wounds to his upper shoulder and is recovering at home. The brave dog is on restriction for a month, which means no walks until his wounds heal, Christensen said. "He’s on house arrest, as the animal control officer put it," Christensen said Monday. "But he seems to be doing fine physically and psychologically." Ryan Drabek, spokesman for Orange County Animal Control, said an officer gave the couple literature about how to keep their pets safe. "This is not considered an abnormal circumstance,’’ he said. "If a coyote was showing aggression toward a human, that would obviously be more serious, and we would have to look further into that.’’ Christensen said the coyote did not seem to be afraid of humans and could still be lurking in the neighborhood. "We believe this is a serious threat to other owners of animals in Rossmoor," he said. "The coyotes are getting pretty aggressive." Christensen said he and his wife were shocked at Ronnie’s behavior, which seemed uncharacteristic of the timid 30-pound terrier. When they take their three dogs on walks, Ronnie is the one who cowers behind his owners when children come up to give the dogs a pat on the head. "When we told this to our daughter and son-in-law they said, ‘Ronnie?’ " Christensen said, laughing. "Possibly it was just a reaction to something being in his back yard. "But he could be a hero … and, by the way, we are treating him as a hero." Contact the writer: 949-553-2932 or

Coyote tips:

Residents can lower the risk of coyote encounters by following these suggestions from the Los Alamitos Police Department. •Do not feed coyotes. •Don't leave children outside unattended. •Keep small pets indoors and supervise pets outside. •Don't leave pet food outside. •Don't leave a water source for coyotes, cover pools and bring in pet water bowls. •Trim yard shrubbery. Overgrown foliage gives coyotes a place to hide. •Don't leave fallen tree fruit on the ground. •Secure garbage containers.