A Labrador came to the aid of his “sister”, a Boston Terrier, when the latter was attacked by a coyote that had entered their family’s garden in Huntington Beach, California.
CCTV footage shows the coyote leaping over a 6ft high wall, running towards the dogs, grabbing the Boston Terrier by the neck and dragging him into the yard. Sadie, the Boston terrier, was shaken by the neck and screaming in pain.
The Labrador, Cody, ran outside to help, barking at the coyote until he dropped Sadie.
“Big brother came to try and save her,” owner Melissa Patriarca told ABC7.
Sadie and Cody then hunted the coyote together, their owners said.
Coyotes are commonplace in California, with the California Department of Fish and Game estimating that there are between 250,000 and 750,000 individuals in the state. They often kill sheep, calves and poultry in rural areas, and in urban areas they often attack and kill domestic cats, small dogs, large dogs and sometimes even humans.
This is extremely detrimental economically: in 2004, coyotes were responsible for 60.5% of the 224,000 sheep deaths caused by predation nationwide. In southern Orange County, California, up to five pets are brought to the urgent care veterinary clinic each week, most of which are dogs, as house cats typically don’t survive that long. .
Sadie has recovered from her ordeal, after taking antibiotics for her bites. The Patriarcas say they are glad they were nearby that night to hear the barking.
“My heart broke when I heard her scream,” Freddy Patriarca told ABC7. “And just knowing that a wild animal like a coyote could jump the wall so easily and almost take our loved one.”
Like other large predators, coyotes are drawn to urban areas by food and garbage, especially pet food. According to Melissa Patriarca, coyotes in Huntington Beach can be seen walking down the street during the day.
“I mean, I saw them by [the] schools for children. It’s not safe,” she told ABC7.
Just a few months ago, a 3-year-old girl was attacked and injured by a coyote in the same town. The Patriarcas’ neighbor Patrick Taylor, a handyman, told ABC7: “It’s unfortunate. It doesn’t surprise me. I hear them screaming in the streets at night or in the wee hours just before sunrise. I’ve seen a huge increase over the last year of people calling me on the Nextdoor app to install coyote rolls, raised fences, chain links, chicken wire.”