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Police: Coyote Attacks, Kills Dog In Gloucester

GLOUCESTER (CBS) -- Authorities in the Rocky Neck area are warning residents to watch their pets carefully after police say a dog was killed in the yard of a home while its owner was inside Sunday night.

Police said they were called to the Sumac Lane home around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Skippy, a 10-month-old poodle, was on a fixed leash when he was attacked by a coyote.

Police searched the area, but could not find the coyote.

Rocky Neck resident Mark Olsen told WBZ-TV the dog belonged to his 75-year-old mother, Sarah Olsen. He said the dog was out for about five minutes when the coyote attacked. Karin O'Donnell, Sarah Olsen's daughter, watched the attack happen.

Skippy, the dog police say was attacked and killed by a coyote Sunday night. (Family photo)

"When I came outside I saw that this leash was all the way down here and when I got down here to the bottom of the steps, there was the coyote with Skippy in his mouth," she said.

According to Mark Olsen, his mother and sister tried to save the dog--but they had to hide in their car when the coyote came after them.

Sarah Olsen said the loss is horrifying.

"He's my dog. I miss him terribly" she said. "He was the cutest little thing."

gloucest coyote dog
Sarah Olsen with Skippy. (WBZ-TV)

Mark Olsen said his family had seen three or four coyotes in the area recently.

"This is an area where a coyote was eating a prey here. The other side of the property where they had a seagull bones all destroyed," he said.

Mark Olsen said they are getting more brazen, and that he and his neighbors are worried for the safety of children in the area.

"We've got too many kids in the area so Gloucester's gotta do something about it," Sarah Olsen said.

gloucester coyote
Coyotes have been seen in this neighborhood, where one killed a small dog. (WBZ-TV)

In a release Monday, Gloucester Police and the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife offered several tips to help residents prevent coyote attacks, including securing garbage, keeping bird feeders clean, and using loud noises, bright lights, or water sprayed from a hose to scare the animals away.

Police said that Environmental Police and Animal Control officers were monitoring the Rocky Neck area Monday, and said anyone who spots a coyote should call Animal Control. A City Councillor went to the home, telling the Olsen family he hopes to call an emergency meeting to address the coyote problem.

For Sarah Olsen, the attack has been understandably traumatic.

"Its really real sad, she said. "I don't know if I want another (dog) or not. I'm kind of scared."

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