Dogs Killed in Coyote Attacks

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio -- In a split second, a peaceful Sunday morning turned tragic for Joan, Raymond and their 8-year-old poodle, a sweet little girl they rescued named Dezi

"I was taking Dezi out to go potty before I go to church," explained Joan, who did not want her family's last name used.

In the backyard of their North Canton home near State Street and Boston, a coyote came out of nowhere.

"And it swooped in and swooped out like something you'd see on television," Joan said. "I was in my robe and slippers and gave chase, hollering, 'Dezi! Dezi!' thinking it would drop it."

They chased the animals between the houses and across the street but lost sight of them in a field.  Joan and Raymond searched for hours but couldn't find Dezi.

"We knew she was dead but it would've been a comfort if we could've found her body and taken care of her," Joan said.

Joan was standing next to her home and Dezi was no more than 10 feet away from her in an area surrounded by homes, fences and other barriers, but still, the coyote was bold enough to run in and grab her.

"I was not surprised," said Dr. Angela Gamber, a veterinarian.  "I've been hearing some things and there's no predator, it just seems like these episodes are escalating and getting worse."

Gamber is Dezi's doctor and felt sick over her death, then the very next day another patient was taken by coyotes near Everhard Road.  It was a 17-year-old lab mix named Sydney.

"I've been seeing her since she was a pup at another veterinarian practice. They followed me here.  He's a single guy and absolutely loves his dog," Gamber said of Sydney's owner.

Gamber said people need to be extra cautious and realize any pet is a potential target.  Dezi was under 10 pounds but Sydney weighed 30 pounds.

Joan and Raymond are also nervous for the children in their neighborhood.

Coyotes are supposed to shy away from people, but after their experience, they don't want anyone to take any chances.

"Be vigilant.  Watch your children, watch your dogs," Joan said.

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