By Linda Cole
No matter where we live, we share the land with wildlife. Birds of prey, like hawks and eagles, can pose a danger to cats, small dogs, kittens and puppies. Depending on where you live, coyotes, mountain lions and bears may also be a threat. An attack by a wildlife predator can happen in the blink of an eye. How quickly we react can make a difference, and learning how to protect yourself and your pet is your best weapon.
Most predators are active during sunrise and sunset, but they will hunt anytime. Unless you have a 10 foot fence around your property, wild animals will venture into your yard in search of food. Protect your pets by keeping your yard clean. Keep fruit and nuts picked up under trees, and don’t leave food sitting outside where it can be found by wild animals. Coyotes will eat anything, including fruit, and you don’t want to encourage predators to come into your yard.
Compost piles, thick brush or bushes and wood piles make great hiding places for predators. Situate your compost pile away from the areas used by you and your pet, or keep it in an enclosed area. Keep the area under bird feeders cleaned up. Never leave uneaten pet food outside. Secure trash cans with locking lids so they can’t be tipped over, or keep them in a garage or other outside building. Make sure doors are closed to outside buildings to keep unwanted guests out.
Keep your dog on leash during hikes. A dog running ahead of his owner on a trail may return with a predator hot on his heels. If you meet a predator in your own backyard, or while out hiking or walking your dog, stay calm and never run. Pick up small dogs and cats. A stout walking stick is a good weapon to help fend off an attack.
By Langley Cornwell
We buy the good brand of dog food, always have clean, fresh water available, take long walks and enjoy unstructured playtime together. We are committed, responsible pet owners and think we would do anything for our pets. But would you put yourself in real danger to save your animal? These pet owners went to heroic lengths to rescue their pets from harm.
Punching a Bear in the Face
Alaska resident Brooke Collins tangled with a bear to save her dog’s life. It all started when Fudge, a senior dachshund, slipped out the door and into the jaws of a black bear. According to msnbc.com, 22-year-old Collins was startled to see a bear bending over her dog, squeezing the dog with its paws and biting the dog’s neck. She immediately sprang into action and made a huge commotion, screaming and flailing her arms. The bear seemed unfazed so she ran right towards him. The bear continued to maintain his grip on Fudge, so Collins reared back and punched the bear in the nose. The bear released the dachshund and Collin’s boyfriend scared him off. Fudge was lucky and escaped with only minor wounds.
Facing Down a Coyote
Minnesota has its share of coyotes and they are encroaching on the neighborhoods in Edina, notes CBS Minnesota. When Becky Bennett’s dog Smokey was playing in their backyard, a coyote boldly came onto their property. Within seconds the coyote grabbed Smokey, an 18-year-old Schipperke, and carried him towards the edge of the yard. Without hesitation, Bennett raced towards the coyote with her arms waving; she screamed and yelled and charged forward. The coyote was startled by Bennett’s actions and dropped Smokey, but the dog suffered from the attack. It took 10 days for the senior Schipperke to recover from puncture wounds and regain the strength to walk again.