West Kelowna  

DWK coyotes feasting on family pets

Coyotes are apparently decimating the small pet population in Lakeview Heights, according to a resident who has lost three pets in the last year.

Denise Aiello of Thacker Drive says she’s lost two dogs and a cat to coyotes over the past year, the latest being Chicki, a Chihuahua, only four days ago.

And that despite her best efforts to protect her remaining pets after losing a miniature (albeit 24 lb.) American Eskimo dog and a cat over the last 12 months.

Aiello, who walks Sheba, a husky-retriever and, until Tuesday, also walked Chicki, says she let the two pets out in her fenced backyard around 7 a.m. that morning.

The two ran down her long backyard ahead of her and within seconds, and out of her immediate sight, she heard a commotion -- “they were brawling“.

When she got closer, she saw that a coyote was attacking the husky-retriever inside the fenced area, right in her backyard.

When the larger dog successfully resisted the attack, the coyote picked up the tiny Chihuahua, jumped over the four-foot chain link fence, and took off.

“The neighbours heard me and tried chasing it, but they didn’t catch it of course,” Aiello says.

Now she’s left with Sheba, another chihuahua, Sassy, and “Kitty” the remaining cat.

The others, “they’re all gone.” She’s canvassed her neighbourhood, and almost everybody has lost pets of late.

One of the many victims was Reagan, a 10-month-old cat who disappeared from a home on Hudson Road without a trace one evening in April.

“Anybody that had cats has no cats left. I went to 10 doors (Thursday night) and of all the people who owned cats, there are none left.”

Aiello talked to a local conservation officer, who said the coyote population in West Kelowna has exploded. He advised her to never walk a pet without taking a stick with you.

Nothing can be done by conservation personnel until the wild animals start biting people, she was told.

“I have no doubt it’s going to happen to children out walking their dogs, because they (coyotes) are no longer afraid of people,” Aiello says.

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