Dear pet owners

Resident provides a cautionary story about coyotes and their impact on cats and dogs

The SPCA warns pet owners to never leave their pets unattended outdoors, yet there are so many pet owners who take chances that their pet will not be one of the unfortunate ones who are taken or mauled by coyotes.

We do live in the mountains where coyotes roam everywhere. You may not ever see them but it’s probably because you’re still in bed. They roam in the late and very early hours of the day and in some places, all day and night like in the Lower Mainland.

I lived in the Lower Mainland and unfortunately my cat got taken and, of course, I blamed myself not the coyotes. It was an outdoor cat or so it liked to think it was, and like every other day, I let her out to do her business. One of those days, she never returned and I cried for weeks on end hoping someone had just picked her up.

I had to come to the realization that the neighbourhood coyotes had taken her. I only had myself to blame for that and it took me years to forgive myself. But I did learn a huge lesson.

I encourage all pet owners to either have a complete enclosure for your pets to remain outdoors. I do not mean a fence I mean a total enclosure, like the safe enclosures that the SPCA keeps their cats and dogs in outside.

If you can’t do that, then it’s up to you to remain outdoors with your cat or dog until they have had their time to do what it is they needed to do and then leave them indoors, and I mean all size of dogs.

I’ve seen neighbours who leave their large dogs tied up on the back deck. I guess they think they can manage to fend off coyotes because of the size of their dog. But in reality, it just leaves it easier prey. Coyotes can attack a dog tied up a lot easier.

In the end, it’s always a tragedy to lose a beloved pet and with that said, to any of you who have had a pet taken from you, my deepest condolences.

Patti Mondor

Vernon