Plymouth family shares warning after they say coyote attacked their dog

Updated: November 20, 2019 10:22 PM

A Plymouth family is sharing a warning after their 20-pound cockapoo was attacked and nearly killed. 

The attack happened on Monday night in the family's backyard, off 58th Avenue North.


"It's hard to see him right now, just being in pain and not being able to move much," said Bonnie Sheridan. 

Sheridan told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that she heard yelling but thought it was the TV. When she went downstairs, she and her husband realized their neighbors were trying to scare an animal off outside. 

Sheridan said her husband called out for their dog, Rupert. He came running, bloody. 

"[The vet] could tell by the bite marks that it was a coyote that had attacked him," said Sheridan.

Rupert is nearly two years old. He has internal bruising to his liver and bite wounds on his neck, head, and belly. 

"Those two are very deep and very close to the lungs," said Sheridan. "I don't know what would've happened if we had been any later."

Plymouth Police told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they had received a handful of reports of injured animals, possibly involving coyotes, in 2019. Here's the list:

  • On July 8, someone called the police to report a coyote attacked their dog. 
  • Police received a missing dog report on July 31. A child in the house said they might have seen the dog being attacked by a coyote.
  • On Sept. 30, a resident reported an unknown animal attacked their dog and died. The owner speculated that it was a coyote.
  • Police told KSTP the final call came on Nov. 12, when someone reported a coyote running through their yard.

"Having a dog attacked by a coyote is pretty uncommon, it's a rare thing," said Bob Welsh, the Minnesota DNR wildlife operations manager for the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Still, Welsh said there is a well-established coyote population in the metro. 

"Smaller pets, if they're left outside alone, are at a greater risk," he said.

Sheridan said she's sharing her story to reiterate that point.

"A year ago, when we got Rupert, we had been warned, casually warned," she said.

Sheridan said, however, their concerns waned over time because they didn't see any coyotes. It became routine to let him out alone.

"I just want people to be aware and to really listen to these stories," she said. "Although they may not be frequent, they are happening, and they happen at night."

"Be careful, watch your pets when they go out if they need to go out at night, keep an eye on them," Sheridan said. 

There is more information and resources on the DNR's website

If residents come across a coyote, Welsh advises being aggressive, making noise, and even throwing rocks at the animal.

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Callan Gray

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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