Jan 30, 2012 7:09 PM
TUCSON - Living in the desert, it's not unusual to see animals in their own habitat, but what happens when one of those animals attacks your pet?
Patty Mankel said she was making coffee one morning after letting Sebastian out to the yard to make his rounds.
"I heard him cry, and I just ran out here, and the coyote already had him," said Mankel.
In a panic, she said she ran toward the coyote yelling.
"By the time I got close to the fence, he already had him in his mouth," said Mankel.
But she wasn't about to let the hungry coyote take off with her Maltese.
Patty said she kept screaming and that's when the coyote got spooked and dropped the unconscious pet.
"Sebastian was going to be his breakfast that morning," said Mankel.
Mark Hart with the Tucson sector of the Arizona Department of Game and Fish tells us in a year there have been 71 reports of coyote sightings within the city, but only 11 have involved interactions with pets.
"We are particularly concerned about small animals particularly dogs weighing less than 25 pounds and cats. A coyote will take those animals sometimes even if they are on a leash," said Hart.
Although Hart said it doesn't happen often, pet owners should be cautious.
"If they encounter a coyote, pick the dog up stare at the coyote don't run or move off quickly because the coyote will give chase," said Hart. "There are also ways to get rid of them if they are hanging around your yard. Spray them with a garden hose. Fill a can with coins and put a lid on them."
Hart said the noise of the coins inside the can will spook off the coyote.