BEAVERCREEK — A woman said two coyotes went after her small dog in their yard in Beavercreek.
The Yorkshire terrier survived, but now Meeko is recovering from deep cuts and missing patches of fur after the incident.
“All we did was turn around for 60 seconds and the next thing we knew Meeko had just come sprinting up the back patio and slammed into the back door and was just crying,” her owner Meghan McKinney said. “She has two bite marks, one on the front half of her, one on the back half of her” in addition to a scratch on her back.
A wildlife expert from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said coyotes in the Miami Valley are common, but that this sort of attack is not.
“If it’s a small dog, they may look at it as a prey item, but they also could see another dog as an intruder in their territory, so it could be a territorial issue,” wildlife officer Brett Beatty said.
Coyotes are most active during dusk and dawn, but there are things that will help keep them away, such as not leaving pet food in your yard.
“If you see a coyote, make loud noises, make yourself appear big, hold your ground until the coyote leaves the area,” Beatty said. “That provides some negative stimulus.”
Now, Meeko is making it clear the coyotes shouldn’t mess with her again, McKinney said.
“She likes to come out in the back and bark where the coyotes came in and likes to pee back there so they know that she’s still here and she’s still kicking,” McKinney said.
A COYOTE IS IN YOUR BACKYARD. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Identify that the canine is truly a coyote and not a stray dog. If it's a stray dog,
contact your county dog warden.
If you do have a coyote, remove all "attractants" to help deter its return. This means to remove garbage and pet food before nightfall and clean up around the grill.
Coyotes prey primarily on small mammals such as rabbits and mice, but small pets also may be taken. Keep small dogs and cats inside or stay with them at night when coyotes are most active.
Coyotes are curious, but generally fearful of humans. Clap your hands and shout to scare off coyotes that are investigating your yard.
If the coyote in your yard seems to lack a fear of humans or is presenting a conflict even after removing attractants from your yard, contact a nuisance trapper. To find a trapper near you, call the Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
Coyotes in rural areas can be controlled through legal hunting and trapping methods. Consult the yearly Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet.
Go to www.wildohio.org to view more information online.