ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - One small dog was killed and another attacked. People in an upscale neighborhood say coyotes are preying on their beloved pets.
Neighbors near the Tanoan Golf Course are worried a pack of coyotes are starting to like their greens a little too much.
Louie the miniature poodle is moving a little slowly, but his owner says he's lucky to be alive. Louie and his family live just off the ninth hole in Tanoan.
His owner let him out early last Tuesday morning when she heard a terrible screech.
She says a coyote jumped into her yard and took a big bite out of the little dog.
A week before that, neighbors say a small dog next door was mauled to death in it's yard by a coyote.
"I've seen them (coyotes) come up to a house in the backyard in town where they jump a fence," said VAC Veterinary Care, Veterinarian Shirley Russman. "They're very very agile. They jump the fence and grab the dog and go
She said if a dog is attacked the owner needs to apply pressure to the bleeding immediately, wrap the dog or cat in a warm blanket to keep it from going into shock, and bring it to the vet as soon as possible.
Other emergency vets in the area said they've seen an increase in coyote attacks in the last three weeks, especially near the golf course. One vet says she has seen about three each week when normally she sees one every month.
Wildlife officials say golf courses are popular hangouts for the animals because it's easy food.
"They've got some open country there where they can hunt rabbits, and there's water available on golf courses, so it a perfect kind of habitat in town for coyotes," said Alan May the Director of USDA Wildlife Services in New Mexico.
Tanoan is not the only spot people are spying the animals. KRQE News 13 shot video of a coyote at Tramway and Candelaria a couple of weeks ago. The animal was very close to people and their pets enjoying the jogging path.
Wildlife officials say it's rare they'll attack people, but dogs is a different story.
"Coyotes are aggressive to other canines, especially when they're breeding," said May.
It's a lesson little Louie knows all too well, and one that May says humans can learn from.
"Sometimes people in urban areas think wildlife is kind of cute, and they have a tendency to get it to hang around. When people feed coyotes, they only encourage that negative behavior," he said.
People in the far Northeast Heights, especially near Tanoan, should keep their pets, pet food and water inside particularly at night to discourage the coyotes. They should also stay with their pets at all times to ward off an aggressive attacks.
A federal wildlife official told News 13 they don't set traps for coyotes because usually it's household pets that get caught in them.
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