PEPPER PIKE, Ohio -- Some people living near Creekside Drive in Pepper Pike are worried about their pets after a dog was reportedly attacked by a coyote.
A pack of seven coyotes had been spotted in and around that area and over toward Hunting Valley for the last few weeks.
Resident Erin Namy says the animals came right up to her house in her backyard and were significantly larger than an average 30-40 pound coyote.
“They were rather large and intimidating,” said Namy.
She decided to keep her tiny Maltese puppy and children inside.
She says that turned out to be a good decision.
On Monday, a friend and neighbor witnessed a dog being attacked.
“She did hear some screaming and yelping from what she believed was a dog and she said it was definitely a coyote,” said Namy.
Namy is now notifying other neighbors of the incident and rightly so.
Over the last two years there have been several coyote-dog interactions.
In Strongsville, two dogs were attacked but survived, and dogs were killed by coyotes in both Seven Hills and Trumbull County.
Geoff Westerfield, the Ohio Division of Wildlife Assistant Wildlife Management Supervisor, said, "Obviously there should always be a concern. Coyotes are out there and problems can occur but there’s a lot of wildlife out there that can cause problems with your pets as well.”
Westerfield says in dog-coyote interactions, generally the dog is the aggressor.
He says a dog will bark or charge after a coyote, and once the fight begins, the coyote just won’t stop.
Also, this time of year pups are being born, so adult coyotes will become protective of them.
Anything or anyone wandering near the den could run into trouble.
Coyotes generally only come out of their dens between dusk and dawn to hunt for food.
They prefer grass, mice and road kill, but if they’re desperate to feed their pups they could feed on small pets.
Westerfield advised, “At nighttime, make sure to bring cats inside and if you have dogs, letting them out, make sure to turn the lights on and see if there’s anything out there before you let them go out.”
It’s also a good idea to clean up your yard and never leave pet food outside near the home.
Geoff says coyotes and wild animals are all around us in Ohio. If people stay alert and don’t leave food out, both they and their pet should be safe.
If anyone encounters an aggressive coyote or any wild animal it’s important to report it to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife so that they can track the animal and investigate.