EDMONDS, Wash. -- The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is urging owners of small pets to keep a closer eye on them now that coyotes are on the hunt for food.
A dog was viciously attacked by a coyote this week in a back yard in Edmonds. The dog survived.
Neighbor Keisha Kimball had just fed her daughter breakfast when she spotted a coyote lurking in a wooded area just beyond her backyard.
She yelled at her husband, who started shooting video on his phone, she said.
Moments later, they looked closer and saw the coyote violently shaking a neighbor’s dog that had just been let outside to pee.
"He yelled down to me and he initially said it had a squirrel what appeared to be a squirrel in its mouth. They realized it was the neighbor’s dog," Kimball said. "Just kinda shocked ‘cause it was crying and felt horrible."
Kimball told KOMO News the coyote immediately dropped the dog and took off after she started screaming.
Neighbor Jamie Kahn says the attack is something she often worries about with her cat, Charlie.
"Charlie will like to sun himself in our backyard sometimes, and my concern just in general is him potentially getting attacked by a coyote in the middle of the day," Kahn said.
Every year at around this time, coyotes become active across Western Washington, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife said. It's not unusual.
The coyote's pups come out of the den. The parents searching for food. They will go to great lengths to find it, the spokesman said.
"Generally speaking, if a person’s around if you’re with your pet it’s not going to be targeted," said Capt. Alan Myers. "If it’s left alone for long periods of time, then it may become a prey of opportunity."
Typically, the search period for food lasts until around June, Myers said.
But it’s a good idea to keep small pets, like dogs and cats, in at night year-round and don’t leave their food out either.
If you see a coyote, don’t run, Myers said. Get aggressive and loud. You can use things like pepper spray or put some vinegar in a squirt gun to try to scare them away, Myers said.
Oliver, the dog attacked by a coyote in Edmonds, lost about half his blood by the time he made it to emergency veterinary care, his owner told KOMO News.
Luckily, he’s doing well and already back home.
"Everything kind of aligned how it worked out well and Oliver’s alive, so awesome to hear," Kimball said.