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Owner says coyote attacked her dog in Memorial Park

by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

Posted on August 22, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 22 at 6:40 PM

HOUSTON — A Houston woman claims a coyote attacked her small dog while she was walking in Memorial Park on Monday.

Chau Nguyen Todd said she was walking through the woods at the park near Blossom Street when a coyote attacked her Pomeranian, Tommy.

“The coyote really had him by his whole body,” said Todd, a former KHOU 11 News reporter. “I screamed and the coyote let go of him. I screamed hard.”

Hours later, the little dog was still so traumatized, he wouldn’t let Todd pick him up and examine him  for injuries.

Neighbors in the park said they came face to face with the coyote moments later. They said it appeared bold and unafraid of humans.

“And my husband tried to make himself big like they say try to do and it wasn’t doing anything but just staying still,” said Heidy Lozano.

Texas Parks and Wildlife urban biologist Keith Crenshaw said he has never heard of an attack on a small dog like this in his eight years of service in Harris County.  He said coyotes typically eat rodents and rabbits. They have also been known to kill pet cats here in Houston.

Crenshaw said if a coyote was going after a dog, it typically would not be one larger than a Chihuahua.

“They are a little desperate,” Crenshaw said because the food supply has been decreased by our persistent drought.  He also warned that coyotes are notorious carriers of rabies.

Crenshaw said if you come face to face with a coyote that does not appear to be afraid of humans, “remind it that it ought to be.” He suggested throwing rocks at it or taking any action that might intimidate the animal.

“They like to travel through the city along the bayous,” Crenshaw said. 

Coyotes may travel alone or in a pack of no more than about four animals.

As for Todd, she is grateful she did not have her 11-month-old daughter with her in a stroller.  She said she will not take her daughter through the woods of the park any more.

“I’m not even sure I’m gonna take my dogs anymore,” she said.