Family dog recovering after coyote attack in LaPlace
LAPLACE - A stark reminder to pet owners to keep an eye on their animals was given to a LaPlace family when their Yorkshire Terrier was attacked by a pack of coyotes.
Though the dog is recovering, the family wants to warn the public about the potential danger.
Marcus Pierre says, like most nights, he let the family dog out for bathroom break after he got home from work.
“At night when I get off work, I let her just run in the front yard,” said Marcus.
However, within minutes the dog came under attack just feet from where Pierre was standing. LaTonya Pierre said the attack happened at 9:45 p.m. Friday night.
"She kinda wandered into the backyard, and he heard her whimpering," LaTonya said. "When he came into the backyard, he saw the two coyotes attacking her.”
Marcus said the wooded area behind his family’s home is where the coyotes appeared.
“They were pretty big. It was dark," Marcus said. "All I could see was the head and the eyes. They were in this area.”
The family said a pair of coyotes were spotted near the site of the attack. The animals managed to cox their Yorkie, named Moscato, into a field behind their house in LaPlace.
The couple rushed Moscato to a nearby emergency animal hospital where she was given x-rays, pain medication and 17 staples as treatment.
After Moscato was attacked, officials in St. John the Baptist Parish were contacted by LaTonya Pierre about the danger. Now, they’re warning the public and looking to hire a trapper to help tackle the coyote menace.
Jamie Lebranche with Lebranche and Company was hired this week to help.
Lebranche says he’s setting up traps in problem spots including wooded areas along Highway 51 close to I-10.
Parish officials say an early litter of coyote pups and nearby construction might be the cause of the unusual rash of coyote sightings this year. Normally, residents don’t spot the wild dogs until August or September.
St. John the Baptist Parish Deputy Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Travis Perrilloux said it's a concern to many residents.
"We're receiving numerous calls on coyote puppies," Perrilloux said.Marcus Pierre said Moscato’s recovery is slow and expensive with the couple being hit with a $1,300 vet bill. To help offset that cost, the family has set up a GoFundMe campaign.
The couple is also warning neighbors in their subdivision.
“They wanted us to make the neighbors aware to have pets on a leash and to not bring them out at dusk or dawn when they're hunting for food," LaTonya said.
St. John the Baptist officials said residents should given the parish a call to report a problem if they see a coyote. They also provided the following items to keep in mind in order to keep pets safe:
- keep dogs on a leash
- don't leave pets alone
- turn on lights
- avoid letting pets out at dusk and dawn
- make noise if you come across a coyote