By Dillon Thomas
BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The recent influx of coyote attacks in Northern Colorado has caused many to evaluate what options they have, in their efforts to keep their dogs safe from unexpected coyote encounters.
Leeanne Hazzard told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas her dog, Pepper, was recently attacked by several coyotes, while she was in her home.
“I just heard screaming,” Hazzard said.
Hazzard said Pepper, and another dog, were outside near her fence line when the attack happened. Hazzard said, due to Pepper’s size, she believed he was attacked while trying to help the other dog.
“I saw a coyote jump a fence, and then the other two ran off,” Hazzard said. “He was hobbling (back to the house).”
Hazzard rushed to take her dog to the veterinarian.
“His entire leg was de-gloved,” Hazzard said. “It was bad, I knew it was bad. I didn’t think he was going to make it.”
Pepper ultimately had his leg amputated by staff at Colorado State University’s vet hospital.
“They were wonderful, they had counselors, and vets,” Hazzard said. “We are lucky to have them here.”
Hazzard said, with Pepper now home, she was concerned he would be easy to attack by returning coyotes.
There are some options for pet owners, who want to better defend their pets.
Coyote fence rollers, which can be bought in Colorado, prevent most animals from hopping over fences. A rolling device is installed atop of fences, which prevents an animal from using the top of a fence as a launching point over it.
Another company in California, Coyote Vests, invented a wearable defense product. The vests have spikes, and other devices on them, which make it difficult for a coyote to latch onto a pet.
Unfortunately, none of the products mentioned would have helped Pepper. The vests do not extensively protect legs. As for the rollers, a local manufacturer said they are useless unless installed on fences taller than six feet, as coyotes can jump easily.
Hazzard said she was happy her pet of nine years was still alive, even if it meant he needed to change his way of life.
“Even if I get a few more years of him in our family, I will be very happy,” Hazzard said.
If you would like to assist Hazzard with Pepper’s medical bills, click here.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.