Playing ball recently turned into a vicious brawl with a coyote for one Orange County pitbull, and a Newport Beach dog trainer wants to make sure other dogs don't fall victim to another attack.
The owners of the pitbull, who asked to remain anonymous, want to keep the details of the attack private, but did tell how an afternoon of throwing a tennis ball to their pitbull took a horrific turn.
"Their home is located on a big piece of property facing a wooded area, and suddenly the dog stopped playing and instead ran to the back of the yard to meet the coyote," Roytapel, who was hired to train the pitbull, explained. "The coyote didn't run away, and the owners screamed but couldn't stop the attack on their dog."
The coyote took off after about five minutes, but the pitbull was left with scratches and other minor injuries. He is expected to make a full recovery, Roytapel said.
Newport Beach is no stranger to coyote sightings. Senior Animal Control Officer Valerie Schomburg said that, much like surrounding cities, there have been coyotes spotted in Newport Beach, but authorities have not noticed an increase in coyote related calls.
According to Roytapel, problems arise because coyotes see small dogs as prey and large dogs as a threat and even a possible mate.
"Coyotes are increasingly attacking our pets from backyards and even in broad daylight as pet owners are out walking them on a leash," Roytapel said.
There are several ways for pet owners to protect their dogs from the clutches of a coyote. Here are some tips from Roytapel.
■ When your dogs are outside, make sure you always supervise them or secure them in a fully secure enclosed kennel
■ Keep your dog on a short leash during recreation and avoid retractable leashes
■ Don't ever encourage your dog to chase a coyote! Coyotes are not squirrels and they will fight back!
■ If you have a small dog and you see a coyote, pick them up immediately
■ Like domestic dogs, coyotes will defend their territory and their young. So don't approach to them!
To learn more pet safety tips and secrets from the Vladislav Roytapel, Newport Beach's Russian Dog Wizard, visit www.socaldogtraining.com.