Coyote alert in Allen neighborhood



Posted on December 22, 2009 at 11:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 23 at 8:40 PM

Coyote alert

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ALLEN ― Residents in the Twin Creeks  subdivision received a coyote alert from the neighborhood crime watch coordinator after a pet was snatched and carried off.

While coyotes rarely attack people, the pet owners fear a child could be next.

The attack happened right in front of Mark Spong’s house when his wife, Lila, opened the front door and followed their rat terrier, Chloe, outside.

“My wife let the dog out to go to the bathroom,” Spong said. “The coyote was apparently in the bushes near the garage.”

The Spongs were always cautious about the possibility red tail hawks could swoop down and attack their six-pound dog, but they never imagined they would have to protect her from coyotes. Spong said the coyote dashed in front of his wife, grabbed the dog in its mouth, and ran up the street.

“My wife chased it to the corner, but it was gone in a flash, and we’ve had no trace of the dog since,” he said.

Spong said his wife is devastated over the loss of Chloe, who’s been with the family for seven years.

Homeowners who live along the Twin Creeks Golf Course said coyote sightings are common. They often see them traveling in the creek bed just beyond the trees. As a result, Ellen and Ross Labarbera said they always keep a close eye on their cocker spaniel, Sadie, when she's outside.

“Sadie will be barking out in the back yard,” Ross Labarbera said. “We know something's out there. So we go out and take a look outside and sure enough, there will be a couple of (coyotes) running along the fence.”
The Allen homeowner whose dog was attacked fear other pets probably ended up just like their beloved Chloe. There’s a whole list of missing cats and dogs on the Twin Creeks Web site.

“It's probably not too difficult to figure out what happened to them," Spong said.

The coyote alert sent out to Twin Creeks homeowners recommended that they be especially careful of their small pets outdoors and don't leave any food out that will attract wild animals to their yards.