coyote

The PEI Department of Fish and Wildlife will send an officer to Cambridge Wednesday to determine if any action should be taken against coyotes responsible for killing a family pet there on December 23.

Two coyotes attacked and fatally injured Heather and Brian Foubert’s West Highland Terrier Bridget in their rural back yard shortly before midnight one evening. The couple had just let Bridget and their second small dog Henry outside when Henry’s furious barking alarmed them. Henry was not physically harmed. Bridget was severely injured and had to be euthanized.

Ms Foubert contacted Garry Gregory, with Fish and Wildlife, who she said viewed the attack on their dog as an isolated event.

“His position is that this was an opportunistic attack. Wrong place, wrong time. He doesn’t feel they will target us knowing Henry is still here.”

The Fouberts were not reassured.

“I argued that point because if they had taken a chicken they would be scoping out the coop.”

Mr Gregory offered to contact a local trapper for the Fouberts, adding trapping the animals responsible wouldn’t necessarily resolve the issue.

“I realize we can’t get rid of all of them but if we can put the fear of God in them maybe they will avoid residential areas and withdraw into the woods,” Ms Foubert said.

She has experience with coyotes including hunting them with her father in Ontario, when the animals’ populations rose and natural food sources dwindled to the point the predators included the family farm in their regular territory.

The Fouberts are inviting neighbours to come over while Mr Gregory is there. Others in the area have also noted coyotes becoming more aggressive and difficult to scare off and are anxious to learn what solutions there may be to minimize interactions with the animals.

Reporter

(1) comment

Leviticus

I am not a pet owner, and have never understood how people who are dog lovers become so deeply attached to their animals. But I do admire wild animals a lot and I fail to see how the Fouberts, like so many people out this way, promptly clamour for eradication of coyotes when it is - by and large - their own fault that their pets were attacked. You let small dogs outside in a rural and wooded setting AT MIDNIGHT and then are shocked and upset when largely nocturnal predators attack? Would you let your five year old child go outside alone and wander off to do whatever at that time? Or let your five year old spend time all alone in a big urban park? No. So why do wild animals have to be 'culled' to allow you to keep a small dog in the countryside with the expectations that nothing will happen to it while running around outside in the middle of the night?

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