National News

Community on alert after 4 dogs killed by coyotes

Posted April 20, 2018 3:50 p.m. EDT

— People in a north Phoenix neighborhood said they're being terrorized by a pack of wild coyotes.

They said the coyotes have killed at least four dogs with their owners in their yards.

Kim Rupiper and her husband Mark said their 6-month-old puppy named Benny was attacked by a coyote inside their enclosed backyard in the Desert Ridge area.

"It's devastating, it is such a violation," said Kim.

Mark was just a few feet away doing some gardening.

"I scared him away from a stand. Still, he hopped onto a 6-foot block wall fence and went away just a little bit," said Mark.

Neighbor Kathy Priester and her family were also recently visited by a coyote that attacked and seriously injured their dog, Cory and attacked and killed the family's terrier named Maggie. Again, it happened in the family's backyard.

"We've lived in our house for 21 years and we have never had any incidents of any wild animals come in our yard," said Priester.

Judi Ciliento was luckier than some of her neighbors. Her dog Snickers was recently attacked by a coyote in her backyard, but he survived.

"All the sudden I hear one of our dogs just yell and I turned around and a coyote had him in his mouth but I screamed and got him out of there, he dropped him," said Ciliento.

Now the Desert Ridge community is banding together and sounding the alarm that coyotes are on the prowl and pet owners need to be on alert.

"Frankly, my concern is when they run out of rabbits and dogs to feat on. What's next? We don't have small children. If we did, we'd be concerned in our backyard," said Mark.