Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Coyote Alert

Cindy Mogg couldn’t stop crying, still reeling a day after her four-month-old Maltese puppy was snatched by a hungry coyote on the northern edge of Pickering.

“She was a part of the family,” Mogg told the Toronto Sun Tuesday.

Saying she was speaking out to warn other pet owners in her neighbourhood, Mogg recalled her daughter was walking cute, little Daisy and the family’s three-year-old Maltese, Milo, near Woodview and Pine Grove Aves., around 8 p.m. Monday when a stalking coyote crept up behind her.

The wild animal grabbed Daisy in its mouth, pulled the pup off her leash and disappeared into the woods.

“She tried to go after it,” Mogg said, adding the 24-year-old woman ran home for help.

By the time the family — and, later, Durham Regional Police officers — searched the area, there was no sign of Daisy or her little pink collar.

But Mogg said she and her son came across a coyote when they returned to the spot where Daisy was snatched.

“It was big like a husky,” she said, adding she wasn’t sure if it was the same coyote. “It just stood there ... He was still hunting as we were there. It’s kind of scary.”

The pup had been an early Christmas present to Mogg from her children.

In the wake of Daisy’s sudden, violent death, Mogg said she has doubts about replacing the little dog. She went back to the spot, near Westcreek Dr., on Tuesday to see if there was any sign of Daisy.

“There were tonnes of (paw) prints going in and out of the snow,” she said. “You can tell they’ve been using it as a trail.”

Durham police Sgt. Nancy van Rooy warned residents in the area to be vigilant when out with small pets.

van Rooy said residents should be especially careful around dusk and recommended cat owners keep their pets inside.

Because police believe the coyote was just acting naturally, van Rooy said Pickering Animal Services won’t be trying to trap the animal.

“It just happened upon prey,” she said. “It was just very opportunistic.”

She added if the coyotes do become a neighbourhood nuisance, officials will act.

Neighbours said coyotes are not uncommon in the area that straddles the rural edge of Durham region.

Woodview Ave. resident Barb Manning said coyotes are seen and heard howling around the neighbourhood most nights, especially in the summer.

Her family even saw a coyote standing on top of their car one night last year.

Around three or four weeks ago, Mary Mueller saw what was either a wolf or a coyote in her backyard.

“It was so skinny, it looked hungry,” Mueller said.

Coyotes are no stranger to pestering GTA residents.

Last week, East York residents complained Toronto Animal Services wasn’t doing enough to deal with a pair of prowling coyotes in the St. Clair Ave.-O’Connor Dr. area.

A year ago, Zoe, a chihuahua, was chomped behind her owner’s Beach area home. That prompted a long but fruitless attempt by Toronto animal services officers to trap the Neville Park coyote.

**Taken from the Toronto Sun