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(Posted 1:30 p.m., Jan. 6)
Coyote attacks dog near Chatelaine Village, others spotted near Blackburn Hamlet

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Jennifer Steers holds her dog Spike after he was attacked by a coyote on Tuesday. Her other dog Isis is sitting in the foreground. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Residents in Orléans and Blackburn Hamlet are being warned to be on the lookout for coyotes after a dog was attacked and mauled by a coyote in near the Ottawa River in Chatelaine Village on Tuesday.

Jennifer Steers was out walking her dogs Isis and Spike along the Ottawa River Near Kingfisher Cres. late Tuesday afternoon when she spotted a lone coyote on the ice. Within seconds the coyote chased Spike, who was off his leash, grabbed the 16 lb. Terrier-mix by the neck and ran off with him.

Frantic for her dog, Steers tried to give chase but soon lost the coyote in the brush.

"I was screaming for him to let Spike go and I was trying to run after them with my other dog Isis, but I lost them," said Steers.

A couple of minutes later she spotted the coyote on the ice again, but he was by himself. With darkness quickly descending, Steers frantically looked for her dog, fearing the worse.

"I thought he might be dead, or worse that he was half ripped apart and lying somewhere," says Steers.

After a couple of hours, Steers returned home to drop Isis off and grabbed a flashlight and some warmer clothes. She went back to the area where Spike was attacked and resumed the search for another hour or so, before finally calling it a night.

Not sure whether Spike was alive or dead, she reluctantly returned home with plans to go back again in the morning

She was only home a few minutes when the phone rang.

"A lady called me and told that she had found spike on her doorstep where we had parked the car for our walk. I guess she was letting her cat out and she saw Spike. I couldn't believe he was alive. I just started sobbing," says Steers who rushed over to the house.

After picking up Spike, Steers drove straight to the Alta Vista Animal Hospital where he was treated for 10 puncture wounds to the belly and neck and hypothermia. By Thursday he was back on his feet.

Steers has no malice towards the coyote, which she believes was acting out of instinct, but she does want to warn other dog owners to be aware when walking their dogs near natural areas where coyotes maybe present.

"I don't want people to go on a which hunt and start calling for a cull, and I don't think people should start putting their dogs on a leash everywhere they go. I'll probably still walk with my dogs off their leashes (in areas where it's permitted) during the day, but after dusk I'll us their leashes and I'll start carrying a flashlight with me," says Steers.

"Ultimately there are always risks and I accept those risks. I just want people to be aware of what potentially can happen."

A number of coyotes have also been spotted near Tauvette Park in Blackburn Hamlet in the past couple of weeks and the Green's Creek area near the Hornet's Nest soccer facility.

The Ministry of Natural Resources cautions people not to approach or run away from a coyote when they see one. Instead, they advise backing up slowly. People should also stand tall, wave their arms and make noise.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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