video on website, poor Buster's a mess!
Chihuahua Mix Attacked By Coyote, Saved By Pit Bulls
Neighbors Say Attacks Becoming Commonplace
Russell Haythorn, 7NEWS Reporter
POSTED: 8:46 pm MDT July 31, 2010
UPDATED: 10:08 am MDT August 2, 2010
LITTLETON, Colo. -- A Littleton neighborhood is on edge after a coyote attacked and nearly killed a woman's dog Saturday morning.
These attacks are becoming more and more common.
According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, in the wild where they are actively hunted and trapped, coyotes are generally elusive. Near cities or in areas where hunting and trapping is not allowed, coyotes may be aggressive. In urban settings, they can lose their fear of people and may even threaten domestic pets.
They've even attacked children recently. One young boy in Erie had to receive rabies shots for several weeks after an attack.
Coyotes are being spotted more in alleys and open spaces, attracted to things like open garbage and bird feeders.
Buster is a Chihuahua-Terrier mix. He was attacked Saturday morning.
"He woke me up at 6:30 to do his thing. I let him out and I came out with him," said Jodi Robinette of Littleton. "And about a minute later, he screamed like I've never heard an animal scream."
Robinette ran after Buster and the coyote behind her home at 949 West Peakview Circle near Angeline Little Greenway Park.
"And right when I came around this corner, the coyote had my dog in his mouth, shaking him as he was running,” she said. "And then, I see the coyote at the very middle of this field drop my dog."
Turns out the neighbor’s pit bulls were going after the coyote.
"Oh I, I (pause) can't talk. (Chokes up). It's really, you know, to see it happen," said Robinette.
Buster is now in the oxygen chamber at Columbine Animal Hospital and Emergency Clinic. He is being kept on antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication and an IV.
Several neighbors witnessed the attack. Lucas Bouts said coyotes seem to be getting more dangerous.
"They've gone after pets before, usually behind fences. They've been becoming more aggressive," said Bouts. “And there are a lot of children in this neighborhood. The coyote’s just look at you like, ‘oh - we're used to people being around.’"
“I mean they need to be relocated. I don't want them destroyed or wish them harm, but it was just a tragedy for everyone," said Robinette.
As for the pit bulls - they scared off the coyote and then protected Buster under a bush.
"They were circling him and sitting by him. Making sure he was all right," said Robinette. "So it needs to be said that there’s some good (in pit bulls) and not all bad."
Back at the animal clinic, Buster's got a polka-dot bandage, a heated blanket and some pain medicine. He’s had a rough day.
He will need surgery Monday. He has a collapsed lung, chest injuries and many deep lacerations.
The Division of Wildlife suggests never allowing your pets to roam, especially at night.
The division also suggests you keep your pets in a fenced area, or a completely enclosed kennel at times when you're not able to keep an eye on your pet.