SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A Carmel Mountain resident says she's lucky her two dogs are alive after a frightening encounter during a walk just a few days ago.
Mary Chambers says she was walking with her two dogs, Squeezey and Tosh, on Highland Ranch Road at about 11 p.m. three nights ago, when Squeezey trailing behind made an ominous yelp.
Chambers turned around to see a coyote slowly walking behind them.
She said she wasn't surprised by Squeezey's reaction, saying, "She’ll stand her ground with a pit bull." Chambers didn't waste any time waiting around.
She began to lead the dogs home, throwing rocks and yelling at the coyote, but that didn't scare it away. The coyote ended up following her and her dogs about a block home, undeterred by Chambers' actions.
"I’m afraid to walk my dogs at night, I’ve never been afraid to walk my dogs at night," Chambers said.
She posted her encounter on NextDoor and says she found several other neighbors who have had the same encounter with coyotes or noticed more wild cats and coyotes in their area.
Chambers said neighbors online have suggested bringing a stick or foghorn on walks. She's now considering spiked dog vests for her canines.
"I’ve never had anything like this happen," said Chambers. "I’m afraid to let my dogs in the backyard at night time."
Donnie Ryan, a spokesperson for the San Diego County Department of Animal Services, said there are a number of ways pet owners can protect themselves and their pets if they encounter a coyote:
"First, they should always use a leash and avoid walking their pet at night or during twilight hours when coyotes are most active. Second, they should never feed their pets outside as the food can attract animals like coyotes into the yard. It’s also a good idea to never leave your pet outside unsupervised. If you do encounter a coyote, you should make eye contact, clap your hands, make noise, or throw rocks or sticks in order to scare them off Pets who have attacked by a coyote should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible for medical treatment."
The county did not have any information available as to whether there has been an increase in coyote sightings reported locally.