Surprise woman's coyote encounter a reminder to dog owners

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Officials warn that coyotes can adapt to most any environment. By Andrew Michalscheck Officials warn that coyotes can adapt to most any environment. By Andrew Michalscheck

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A Surprise woman’s unpleasant run-in with a member of the animal kingdom is serving as a reminder to all dog owners in the Valley.

Loyce Richards said she was walking her little dog Ginger last week when a coyote sneaked up from behind and grabbed Ginger with its jaws.

“I looked down and she was covered with blood,” Richards recalled.

The coyote eventually backed away, but not before Ginger suffered two puncture wounds.

“My first reaction was to pick her up and get her out of harm’s way. My blouse was soaked with blood,” Richards stated.

Ginger is recovering at home from the incident, which Richards said could happen to any small dog owner.

“I think people need to be aware of what is happening to our small animals,” Richards remarked.

Authorities are reminding everyone to be aware of coyotes in their area, particularly because they’re so good at adapting to different environments.

“The coyote is the most adaptable animal in the world. They’re going to seek out an easy meal, a place to shelter,” said Jim Paxon with Arizona Game & Fish.

There are certain steps residents can take to protect themselves and their animals from coyotes.

“Get big, get loud, throw rocks, bang pans, make the coyote fear the presence of humans,” Paxon added.