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2nd Dog Killed In Apparent Oakland County Coyote Attack

"They're running rampant...Everybody's seeing them everywhere"

April 03, 2018 - 11:59 am

WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) - Another small dog has been killed in another apparent coyote attack in Oakland County. 

Following the death of a Miniature Pinscher in Farmington Hills, a West Bloomfield family is mourning the loss of "Zoe" -- their beloved Pomeranian.

"I'm not doing very well. I keep looking at her pictures and bringing tears to my eyes," West Bloomfield resident Mike Johnson said.

Johnson told WWJ Newsradio 950's Laura Bonnell that the 10-year-old, six-pound dog was let outside Saturday evening, and didn't come when called to come back. 

Johnson's daughter found Zoe in very bad shape. "She was tore up around the neck area; quite a bit of blood," Johnson said. "I found coyote tracks -- and I found out where they jumped the fence on the one side of my house."

"....They're pretty big, and I'm 100 percent sure it was a coyote."

The family reported the incident to West Bloomfield police on Sunday and was told there is nothing they can do except remind residents to keep an eye on their pets with wild coyotes at large.

"They're running rampant around. Everybody's seeing them everywhere," Johnson said. "They're losing their habitat...(with people) building houses and tearing down woods and everything."

Reports of coyote sightings have been commonplace in both Oakland and Macomb counties over the last couple of years -- with far fewer reports of attacks. In March of 2016, a small dog died after it was attacked by a coyote in a backyard at Saltz and Beck Road in Canton; and Canton police in January of this year warned residents of a spike in sightings on the township's west side 

Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus said while some may assume the coyotes will only be found in the woods, that's not the case -- and they may pop up in your neighborhood. "People who have pets, especially small pets, need to use caution. If you let your pet out in the dark, unattended, and an unfortunate accident like this can happen," he said.

The Michigan Department of Natural resources advises residents of several things they should keep in mind, and several steps they can take, to lessen the chances of a coyote conflict. 

Remember: 

  • Coyotes can be found everywhere – forests, fields, farmlands, backyards, neighborhoods and cities.
  • Coyotes may be more visible during breeding season (January through March) and when they are caring for their pups during the spring and summer months.
  • Coyotes have learned to survive in urban landscapes throughout Michigan.
  • Coyotes can become comfortable living near people, particularly if there are food sources available.
  • Smaller mammals, like mice and rabbits, are a coyote’s main source of food. 
  • People play a role in reducing potential conflicts with wildlife.

Help prevent conflicts:

  • Remove potential attractants such as trash bins, bird feeders and pet food.
  • NEVER intentionally feed or try to tame coyotes. 
  • Fence off gardens and fruit trees.
  • Clear out wood and brush piles.
  • Accompany pets outdoors, and do not allow them to roam free. 
  • Take advantage of a coyote’s natural fear of humans and scare them off if you see them.

Hunting and removal options:

  • Coyote hunting is open year-round, and Michigan residents need a valid base license to hunt for them. See the current-year Hunting and Trapping Digest for coyote hunting and trapping regulations. 
  • On private property where coyotes are doing or about to do damage, a property owner or designee can take coyotes year-round; a license or written permit is not needed.
  • A permitted nuisance control business can assist in the safe removal of problem animals in urban or residential areas.

Get more information about coyotes in Michigan at this link