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Vet: Dog Killed By Coyote In Farmington Hills

Residents are urged to take precautions

April 02, 2018 - 11:08 am

FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) - Police are warning metro Detroiters to keep a close eye on their pets, after a small dog was killed by a coyote in Farmington Hills.

The Wayne-Westland Observer reported that after Colleen Burke let her two dogs out early in the morning, one of them barked to be let in -- but the other was nowhere to be seen. She then found Rocky, a rescue dog the family had adopted about a year ago, “barely alive” in a neighbor’s yard. She rushed Rocky to a veterinarian, but the 5-year-old Miniature Pinscher didn't make it.

The homeowner -- who lives in the Meadow Brook Hills subdivision, in the 8 Mile Road and Halstead area -- did not see any coyotes, but the vet was able to determine that the dog's injuries were the result of a coyote attack. 

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 

Although officials say coyote attacks on pets are very rare, Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus urges residents to be vigalent, as these wild animals can pop up just about anywhere. 

"I think we'd like to take this as a learning situation," Nebus told WWJ's Laura Bonnell. "Residents in Farmington Hills and all our neighboring communities are aware we have coyotes, and just because you don't see them every night doesn't mean they're not there."

Nebus said while some may assume the coyotes will only be found in the woods or in the park, that's not the case -- and they may be 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," the chief said. 

Nebus said he has spoken with Burke, who wanted to get the word out to her neighbors about what happened. 

In an update out this spring, the Michigan Department of Natural resources advises residents there are 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