Chula Vista family loses pet dog to coyote

Posted at 8:54 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 23:54:27-04

A Chula Vista family got a grim reminder that coyotes don't live too far from their neighborhood.  They’re devastated over the loss of their Maltese named Yoshy.

"He'll be missed dearly.  Oh look, the graduation one.  He was a special dog,” said Feliza Torres.   “We really, really miss him."

It's hard for them to look at pictures of Yoshy.

"They are really part of your family whether you know it or not,” said daughter Jocelyn Torres.  “He loved my sister Joshiery so much."

The family cracked a door, at times, so Yoshy and their other dog Princess could get out if they needed to.  Last Saturday around three in the morning, the dogs went out to the back yard.  The entire family woke up when they heard an unusual bark coming from the dogs and the sound of a coyote.

So the entire family ran downstairs and out the back where they found Princess by herself. 

“We realized that Yoshy wasn't here, so we started looking for Yoshy, said Feliza. 

"My dad quickly hopped over the wall to see if he can catch the coyote and our little dog.  But that failed.  We were left with no dog and left with the prints on our wall of the coyote,” said Jocelyn.

They believe the coyote took Yoshy.  Princess was spared, but the family found evidence she was hurt.

"The coyote scratched her or bit her.  We believe she was trying to protect our dog Yoshy,” said Jocelyn.

The Torres family has lived her for 14 years along with Princess.  They’ve never seen a coyote in the neighborhood and never thought this would happen because over their fence, there’s no wooded area, but a main street.  They're wondering if some roosters in another neighbor's yard are what attracted the coyote.

“I started hearing them like two months ago.  So it's something new in the neighborhood that attracted the coyote.  That's what I'm thinking,” said Feliza. 

The family lives in Chula Vista between Palomar St. and Olympic Parkway.  They haven't heard of coyote sightings in the neighborhood.  But they're aware of the reality. 

"We've invaded in their natural habitat,” said Jocelyn.

It’s a hard lesson, they hope others would learn from.

"It happened to us and we never expected it,” said Jocelyn.

Experts say if your neighborhood borders a wooded area, don't leave your pets outside unattended.  Chances are coyotes are watching their every move. 

And if you have a doggy door, make sure that's secured especially when you're not at home.  There've been cases when coyotes have squeezed through them to get to family pets.