Family saves dogs from pack of coyotes

January 25, 2013 8:15:10 PM PST
A suburban family jumped into action to save their three dogs from an attack by a pack of wild coyotes.

The pups had a close run-in in the back yard of their Riverside home and the wild animals were not giving up easily.

There is a lot of wildlife in Riverside, particularly in the wooded areas along the river. There are also a lot of homes, which means a lot of pets and some of those pets could become potential prey for coyotes.

The dogs were in the backyard, which is surrounded by a three-and-a-half foot high fence. But that was apparently no barrier for a pack of coyotes Thursday night.

Roger Nelson says four coyotes leapt right over the fence chasing after his dogs as they headed back inside the house.

He managed to get them into the house a split second before the coyotes reached them. But still the coyotes continued to try to get at the dogs, even attempting to go through the door, shattering the glass in the process.

"They were snarling," Nelson said. "You could see all their teeth and the hair standing up on their back as they were clawing at the door."

Coyotes can often be spotted in the heavily wooded areas around Riverside, particularly at night. Those who've seen them say they usually have nothing to fear, but the pack Thursday night was different.

"Usually you seen one or two around, but this was three or four of them back there, they do just sit there once in a while," said home owner Carmen Solava.

"I've been in the woods and all this stuff before; I've never seen anything like it. I was blown away," Nelson said.

Nelson, who happens to be a hunter, was unable to get the coyotes to leave until he pulled out a pellet gun and started shooting at the coyotes. He believes he hit two of them and they eventually ran off.

Police say coyotes have killed at least one pet in town this year and they are warning residents.

"We look at our dogs as they're our pets and they're part of the family and the coyotes, they look at them as prey," said William Gutschick, Riverside Police.

Police are urging residents to walk their dogs on leashes, don't just let out in the backyard unattended where they could become potential targets for the coyotes.