A LaSalle woman is warning residents to be on the lookout for coyotes after she says her dog was attacked and killed by one in her backyard.
Lori Quaggiotto says she let her one-and-a-half year old Yorkie-Poo mix, Maggie Sue, outside her Bouffard Road home around 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Quaggiotto says she even looked around for coyotes before letting the small dog out. But when calling Maggie Sue back to the house, she saw a coyote suddenly jumped her fence and grabbed her dog.
“It was devastating,” she told AM800’s The Morning Drive. “There was no further sound.”
Quaggiotto has contacted the town and wants them to take action.
“We have raised this issue with the town and councillors since January because we would see coyotes, like four in a row, pace our fence line," says Quaggiotto of her and her neighbours.
Quaggiotto took to Facebook to share the devastating news. “We have been told that the Township can’t do anything because the coyotes are free to roam,” she posted on Wednesday. “We have been also informed by Town of LaSalle surveyors that there is a den in the bush behind our homes and that the Township knows this.
She hopes other residents who have encountered coyotes will also call the town.
CTV News contacted LaSalle police, which has confirmed a police report was filed. Const. Terry Seguin says they have reached out to the Ministry of Natural Resources for advice.
Town administration and council also reacted to the news, saying they are saddened to hear of the tragic loss – and they are listening to the comments they have been receiving from residents.
LaSalle CAO Joe Milicia points to the unique blend of urban and wooded areas which has led to more conflicts between wildlife and residents.
“As a municipality, managing wildlife is out of our jurisdiction,” Milicia released in a statement Thursday. “The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry helps manage wildlife in Ontario. They have a number of resources on their website about living with wildlife and protecting your property.”
The town is urging residents to be aware of the wildlife in the area and to take all precautions necessary to protect family, pets and property. According to town officials, wild animals like coyotes are attracted to places where food is readily available.
MNR spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski tells CTV News "as a landowner, you have the right to protect your property against wildlife that may be damaging or about to damage your property. If preventative measures don't work, one option can be to hire a trapper."
But the Executive Director of the Windsor-Essex Humane Society tells CTV Windsor there is no reason to point the finger.
"Coyotes aren't villains, they are not trying to eat small children, they are just trying to survive like any other animal out there. So if they see a small animal they may be attracted to them,” says Coulter. “Coyotes are here, they are part of the eco system. If you try and get rid of one because you think it will fix the problem another one is just going to move into that area."
The Town of LaSalle is urging anyone with questions or concerns to contact the ministry at 519-773-4728, but if there’s imminent danger, call police. The town has also posted a useful link regarding wildlife encounters.