North Phoenix coyote attacks: Valley pet owner warning others after dogs attacked

Posted at 8:00 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 23:22:11-04

Kathy Priester's little dog, Corey, was attacked right in her own backyard by a coyote and she's still in shock.

Priester says Corey lived through the attack, but his sister Maggie wasn't so fortunate.

"I saw a pile of something that didn't belong, and as I went closer, it was Maggie," said Priester. 

Since the attack back in February, Kathy says she knows of eight other coyote attacks in the Desert Ridge area. Four dogs managed to survive, the four others were killed.

Mark and Kim Rupieper just lost their 6-month-old puppy on Sunday.

"They're brazen," said Kim. "They're bold, and they don't hesitate if a person is around."

Mark says he was with the dog when the attack happened. They've lived in the area for 18 years, and they've never heard of this many attacks.

"It's just different," said Kim. "It's just different this year."

"We've always given them a lot of respect and I just never expected that they would come into my yard and kill my dog," said Priester.

Arizona Game and Fish told ABC15 they typically start getting more calls about coyotes around January, and then it peaks in May. They're not surprised about the eight attacks, but they point out, the public should not be feeding the coyotes, it makes them extremely comfortable in your neighborhood.

Officials say instead of snapping a quick photo on your phone, try to scare the coyote out of your yard or neighborhood. They say to aggressively shake a can of pennies, use an air horn or super soaker mixed with water and ammonia to spray the animal.

Since coyotes have a keen sense of smell, they will associate the horrible smell with your backyard and likely stay away.

These neighbors don't feed the coyotes, but they hope whoever is will stop.

Kathy now has to walk her dog on a leash while carrying a large stick, in her own yard. She hopes other pet owners in the Valley realize your backyard might not be as safe as once thought when a coyote is around.