Dog attacked by coyote in fenced-in backyard as breeding season peaks

Dog attacked by coyote in fenced-in backyard as breeding season peaks

NAHANT, Mass. — Nahant Police are warning the public to be vigilant of coyotes after a family’s dog was attacked by a pack Monday during peak coyote breeding season.

Eileen Peterson was at her kitchen window cooking Monday shortly after 5 p.m. when she heard her 12-year-old Labrador retriever-mix, Buddy, barking in their fenced-in backyard.

“I looked, and I was like, ‘What the heck? I only have one dog,’” Peterson recalled. “And there was a couple dogs in the backyard.”

Content Continues Below

Peterson ran outside to find Buddy being attacked by two coyotes that she said had jumped over a chicken wire fence leading to the golf course behind their Nahant home. Another coyote was on the other side of the gate.

“I’m yelling for my son to come down. And he moved me out of the way and went flying down the driveway out to the backyard and chased the coyotes of the yard,” Peterson said. “And then Buddy came over to me kind of limping. And I’m like, ‘Oh, he just kind of got hurt.’ Well he came up, got into our bed and there was a puddle of blood underneath him.”

Buddy had suffered multiple gashes to his leg and backside. He was treated at the vet and will be okay. If the Petersons hadn’t seen the attack and intervened, they believe the outcome would have been tragic.

“He would’ve been dead,” Peterson said. “I think they would’ve ripped him apart because there was three of them.”

Peterson is warning other pet owners about Buddy’s attack, and she worries about the kids in the neighborhood with several recent coyote sightings in the area.

“For a pack of them to come after a dog that size, that’s not right,” Peterson said.

Meanwhile, Nahant police informed residents of the attack on social media.

“During mating season, coyotes can become more aggressive and more territorial,” police wrote on Facebook. “We remind you to keep an eye on all pets while outside, and please know that coyotes can scale fences up to eight feet high.”

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife said on the state website that coyote breeding season peaks in mid-February. They urge people to keep coyotes away by securing trash on their properties and cutting away brush that could be cover for coyotes and their prey.

Making a loud noise, flashing lights or spraying water from a hose can scare away a coyote.