By Jenn Watt
Published Aug. 1 2017
A nine-year-old miniature Schnauzer is recovering from a coyote attack that took place in the middle of the day at a cottage on Drag Lake last week.
Steve Glover said he was sitting inside his cottage when he heard a screaming sound coming from the driveway on Monday July 24 around 1 p.m. He looked out the window and saw what he thought was a large dog fighting with his dog Kona.
He headed outside thinking the fight would soon be over but as he approached the two dogs Glover said he realized he was looking not at a big dog but at a coyote.
“I’m in my bare feet and I ran down the driveway on the gravel as hard as I could and I’m screaming at the top of my lungs” Glover recalled. “I’m going towards it and my dog’s fighting for its life. I guess the coyote sees me as I get about five feet away from it and it reached down and grabbed the dog by the back of the neck … and it ran off into the woods.”
Glover continued running after the coyote which wasn’t moving very quickly since it had the added weight of Kona in its jaws.
“I got within five feet of it and it dropped the dog” he said.
Glover called Kona over and as he was gathering his dog in his arms he looked back at the coyote which was 10 feet away staring at him.
When he got back to the house his wife Jeannie helped him wrap up Kona who was bleeding from several wounds.
“We took it to the vet in town and the vet said it’s one in a million. A dog that small would have been instantly dead and gone” Glover said. Kona actively fought back which he thinks was the reason she’s still alive.
According to Jolanta Kowalski senior media relations officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry the behaviour Glover encountered from the coyote was unusual but is likely due to the animal becoming accustomed to the people and animals around Drag Lake.
“Coyotes are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible” she wrote in an email to the Echo . “As coyotes become more familiar with a neighbourhood where they get their food they may lose fear of people increasing the chances of pets being injured or killed.”
Coyotes like many other wild animals are attracted to food left outside garbage and recycling and dog feces.
Glover said the coyote didn’t seem to fit the description of a coyote or a wolf and that the vet suggested it could have been a coywolf.
Kowalski said the coywolf is also known as the eastern coyote which “has been established throughout southern and central Ontario since the first half of the 20th century.”
According to the MNRF a coyote that is preying on pets can be considered problem wildlife which means a landowner can capture or kill a problem coyote “to prevent damage to themselves their property or their pets.
However local firearm discharge bylaws must be followed” Kowalski said.
She also noted that in some cases installing two-metre tall fences which also extend 20 centimetres underground will help keep coyotes out.
Glover said he and his wife will now modify the way they treat Kona keeping an eye on her whenever they’re at the cottage.
“Unfortunately we’re going to have to tie her up within reach of us for the rest of her life” he said.
He cautioned other residents and cottagers to keep pets close – even around the residence and even in the daytime – to prevent a similar situation from happening to them.
Kona is still healing from her wounds but is expected to recover he said.