SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — An emotional post on Facebook about a coyote attack on a small dog running off-leash at a San Francisco park has dog owners on edge and concerned for the safety of their pets.
“We lost our 7 pound Malti-poo, Buster,” wrote Peggy Lo on the Stern Grove Dog Owners Group page. “We were at Stern Grove and a coyote was waiting for him behind a tree.”
Stern Grove, also known as Pine Lake Park, is a 33-acre green space, located in the Sunset District. The park has an off-leash area for dogs.
“We saw a movement in the trees our little dog took off and ran towards it and the coyote came from behind the tree and grabbed him,” Lo told KPIX 5.
Lo’s husband ran after the coyote and tried to scare it to drop the squealing dog but it didn’t.
The post goes on to describe what happened when her husband gave chase to the coyote. “I ran back down to the path because I had the other two dogs with me and I could see the coyote at the top of the hill with the dog in his mouth now and it was limp.”
She said a second coyote appeared, and after a two-hour search they never found them.
People who belong to the group expressed condolences for the dog, and were calling for solutions to make the park safer, especially for small dogs like Buster.
Since July residents have reported dozens of coyote sightings. Two cats have been killed and San Francisco Recreation and Park workers placed warning signs in Stern Grove.
A month ago a dog owner told KPIX 5 five coyotes surrounded his bichon frise at Stern Grove and attacked it.
Some want more signs and warnings to be posted. Others question the safety of the off-leash policy altogether when it comes to smaller dogs. Still others feel even more Draconian measures are needed. They want the coyotes removed from the park.
Coyotes attacks on small dogs are no longer rare in San Francisco. In August the fire department rescued a small dog from a coyote at Stern Grove, and there have also been coyote attacks and warnings posted in the Presidio.
Park officials suggest owners keep their dogs on a short leash and never leave them unattended.
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.