Dog attacked by a coyote in Boise Foothills near Camel’s Back.
The first time Barbara Henderson’s dog was bitten by a coyote, she attributed it to hiking in animal territory, on the Boise Foothills Trails in Hulls Gulch. The second time around, however, she became worried.
“My dog was in the backyard when he was attacked,” she told the Idaho Statesman. “It opened my eyes.”
Henderson said his dog, an 80-pound Spinone Italiano named Nino, was bitten “in broad daylight” while in his unfenced backyard northwest of the Camel’s Back and Hulls Gulch Preserve on the 26th. December. Henderson reported the incident, which left Nino with a flat tire. leg and foot injuries, to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and took to Facebook to share with neighbors.
Henderson said she was hesitant to post her story, which received nearly 100 comments on the North End Facebook group, but felt compelled to warn her neighbors. She believes the coyote that bit Nino was the same that bit him in October while hiking the Chickadee Ridge Trail.
“I don’t like to spread fear, but in the past three months my dog has been attacked twice by this same coyote,” said Henderson. “Enough neighbors had interactions (with the coyote) and were concerned it was worth saying something. “
Fish and Game Conservation Officer Steve Ross said it was not possible to say whether the same coyote attacked Nino twice, but the agency is monitoring the area. Still, neighbors on Henderson’s Facebook post appeared familiar with the animal, with one commentator saying he had already mistaken it for “a runaway German Shepherd.”
“This particular coyote is huge ungodly,” said Henderson. “I have seen him for several times. He’s nothing like the others I’ve met at Hulls Gulch.
Boise is “on the edge of the untamed”
Henderson said when Nino was attacked in October, she left the track to allow a group of mountain bikers to pass.
“What I thought was an aggressive dog comes after my dog and starts to tear him up,” she said. “Then I look and I’m like ‘holy cow, it’s a coyote.’ “
Nino was not injured in the incident and Henderson said she called David Gordon, the head of the Ridge to Rivers trail management organization, to inform him of the attack.
Since October, she has seen what she believes to be the same coyote several times, as have her neighbors. Henderson said she yells at the coyote to try to scare him, but he seems unfazed. She said she hopes Fish and Game doesn’t have to euthanize the coyote and can move it instead.
“When I made that call (to Fish and Game), I knew what I was going to do,” Henderson said. “But I don’t think he’s going to change, and we’ve tried different techniques to try to keep him away.”
Ross said Fish and Game plans to work with the public to try to avoid run-ins with Boise’s wildlife, including coyotes, pumas, bobcats and bears. He advised owners to supervise animals when they are outside and to avoid leaving animals outside at night, especially unattended.
“It’s definitely worrying that you feel the need to protect your pets like this in your home,” Ross said in an email. “However, the reality is that Boise is nestled on the edge of the wilderness.”
Ross also suggested that homeowners and hikers carry pepper spray to the outskirts of town to deter wildlife. Since June, at least two other dogs have been attacked by coyotes in the Hulls Gulch area, including one that was killed. Ridge to Rivers has posted warning signs at the start of trails where defensive coyotes have been reported, and the agency encourages dog owners to keep their pets on a leash in areas where coyotes are frequently active.
Henderson said Nino, whom she described as “a whole marshmallow,” was healing and woke up days after the attack with a rabies booster, antibiotics and rest.
“He was really sore the first few days,” said Henderson. “I think he fought.”
This story was originally published January 3, 2022 11:26 a.m.