Coyote grabs Chihuahua in Okanagan Landing

It was supposed to be a routine bathroom break for Chika the Chihuahua.

It was supposed to be a routine bathroom break for Chika the Chihuahua.

The two-year-old dog was let out of her Cummins Road home in Okanagan Landing by owner Stacey Birkeland shortly before midnight June 9.

As Birkeland stayed on the front porch to watch Chika do her business, a coyote leapt over Birkeland’s front fence, grabbed Chika and jumped back over the fencing, taking off toward Okanagan Landing Road.

“I started chasing her and was screaming at the top of my lungs,” said Birkeland, who is eight months pregnant.

“The dog must have finally clued in because she started screaming and wriggling, and the coyote dropped her.”

Chika started running down Cummins Road toward Birkeland’s mother’s home. Birkeland was still screaming at Chika and screaming for her mom to come out and help.

As she was running toward her mom’s house, Birkeland said two more coyotes ran past her.

“I’m thinking because I kept screaming, they just kept going,” she said.

Chika ran up to Birkeland’s mom’s door which is where Birkeland managed to get a hold of her.

Birkeland put in an emergency call to the Vernon Veterinary  Clinic. Dr. Miles Latwat attended and stitched up Chika, who suffered four puncture wounds, including one to her chest cavity, and muscle damage.

She is recovering quite nicely at home.

Sgt. Josh Lockwood, with the B.C. Conservation Service, said coyotes are having babies and are aggressively looking for food for their newborns.

“Chances are the coyotes are denning in the Commonage and coming down at night to look for food for the babies,” said Lockwood.

“If people don’t want to lose their cats or small dogs, keep them inside at night.”

Coyotes are not the only animals being aggressive.

Lockwood said his office is getting reports of deer charging at people or dogs.

One deer was euthanized after it charged a woman and stomped her dog in the Vernon Cemetery.

“The deer looked like it had been hit by a car as its bottom jaw was missing, which is an old injury, and it had road rash,” said Lockwood.

“At this time of year, lots of urban inner city deer have fawned within the city and they are very protective of their fawns because they are harassed by unleashed dogs or dogs at large.”

If you’re out walking a dog in an area where you see a doe deer with fawn, conservation officers ask people to change walking patterns, find someplace else to go, or maybe go the other direction.

“People with dogs on leashes must be aware that deer do not differentiate between dogs on a leash and not leashed,” said Lockwood.

“If they attack the dog, they think they are safe.

Over the past week, Lockwood said seven deer fawns were recovered that were claimed to be orphaned but Lockwood said they likely were not. He is again asking the public to leave the fawns alone.

n Lockwood also updated a cougar spotting incident in Spallumcheen June 8.

Conservation officers were called to the Wyatt Road area after a report of a cougar attacking a small dog.

“We had officers from Kamloops and Vernon attend, they searched with the hounds and it would appear that the cougar has left the area,” said Lockwood.

“The dogs tracked it for seven or eight kilometres straight. The cougar was on the run.”

Lockwood said the dog was fine.