June 13th, 2024

Owner watches coyote take her dog

By Gillian Slade on July 21, 2018.


It was a terrifying moment for Diane Galvez as her little Yorkshire Terrier being carried off in the jaws of a coyote.

The Connaught area resident had her dog Little Man at her side one minute and then it all went wrong.

“I turned my head for a second and turned back and he (the coyote) had him in his jaws,” said Diane Galvez. “It was one second. That’s all it took.”

They live on College Drive beside the coulee and often walk on that trail. They’d waited to go for a walk until about 8 p.m. Wednesday evening when the heat of the day seemed to have subsided a bit.

Little Man had been walking off leash but was near to Diane when he was grabbed by the coyote.

“Your heart just jumps up into your throat. I just started screaming. I never knew that I could scream that loud,” said Diane.

She called her husband, Jaliesky, and tried to follow the coyote that was going straight up the hill with Little Man still in its mouth. Jaliesky was on the scene very quickly and he pursued the coyote up the very steep hill.

The coyote dropped Little Man then. When they picked him up he initially appeared to be unresponsive.

Then the coyote returned. Diane was still screaming and Jaliesky was throwing rocks at the coyote.

It was impossible to descend the steep hill with any safety so Diane had to go home to get their vehicle while Jaliesky climbed to the top of the hill with Little Man.

They rushed to a veterinary clinic.

“He got two major puncture wounds and one was so close to his jugular …,” said Diane, noting Little Man’s larger harness appeared to have prevented more puncture wounds.

His rabies shot was already up to date but Little Man is now on antibiotics and pain medication, said Diane.

“He’s doing OK. He’s pretty traumatized … I thank God and his harness for saving his life, that’s all I can say,” said Diane.

It is tragic for anyone and their pet to experience this, said Dave Genio, superintendent of parks maintenance. The situation is being taken seriously and the city hopes to make contact with Diane, Jaliesky and Little Man.

“I’d be heartbroken, too, if one of my dogs had the same situation,” said Genio.

Medicine Hat is in an area with an abundance of wildlife, and along with that is a level of danger, said Genio. Owners are reminded to have pets on a leash and to perhaps choose an off-leash dog park if they would like their dogs to be able to run free.

Earlier this month the News reported on the number of coyote alert notices posted along Primrose Drive around Connaught Golf course.

A week ago a resident near the golf course, Gary Leis, said he sees coyotes three or four times a day. He believes there are four or five adults with three pups living behind his house, possibly in two different dens. Years ago there was probably just one coyote, he said.

“The coyotes are becoming more and more aggressive each day. They have no fear of humans or to dogs,” said Leis. “They no longer get scared off from loud noises or from throwing rocks at them. I have seen them chase and try to lure dogs deeper into the high grass. They also walk right behind dogs on leashes through the green belt.”

The city has set up cameras in the area to determine the extent of coyote activity.

“In one spot we’ve got some good evidence of the possibility of a den in the area and then we are setting up in another area where we suspect another den,” said Genio.

The city is also talking to Alberta Fish & Wildlife to confirm what the appropriate action will be to address the situation, said Genio.

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