Megan Riordan: Coyote alert in Breckenridge
It is with great sadness, anger and concern for my neighbors in The Highlands and Silver Shekel subdivision that I must share my story. Last Tuesday evening at 6:05, one of our dogs was attacked and killed by the two coyotes that have made their den in The Highlands near Dyer Trail. I am sure most of us have seen the pair in the past two months. They have let their presence be known and are not frightened by us humans. We live on Fletcher Court and our backyard backs up to the Lower Flume trail that connects The Highlands and the Silver Shekel neighborhoods. The attack occurred while it was still light out on that section of the trail, in our backyard. The trail is well traveled and enjoyed by lots of us with our dogs and kids. The coyotes were not afraid of us and one of them lured me to the road while I frantically searched for our dog, Bogart. One hour later he was found two houses away on the trail being consumed by the coyotes. My daughter and I were able to retrieve his body and were stalked by the coyotes all the way back to our garage. The whole experience was horrific. I need to confess that my dog was not on a leash. I rarely walk my dogs on a leash. Let alone take them out in the yard on the leash. I have learned my lesson the hard way. I have taken the wildlife where I live for granted. I have seen the warnings on the news, in the paper and the signs posted at several of my favorite trail heads. I will always miss my three dogs running and being free. I just never thought it would happen to me and one of my beloved pets in my 16 years I have lived in Breckenridge. My dog was taken from my family violently and I am sick over this. I am telling my story in hopes of reaching my neighbors and letting them know we do have a big problem with these two coyotes and their aggressive behavior and my concern is it could be one of our kids next.After this event and numerous phone calls I have learned this that we do have “the right to protect our property, children and pets.” We as a community need to make our presence known and make them feel unwelcome. We need to haze them out of our neighborhood. Please when you hike from now on be prepared and carry some sort of deterrent. When we see a coyote scream and throw rocks, use an air horn, a whistle, a shaker can, a stick, wave your arms or a coat, pepper spray them or use a pellet or paint gun. We want to scare them and let them know they are not welcome here. An incident report has been filed with the Breckenridge PD and if any of us in the vicinity see the coyotes please call this non-emergency number (970) 668-8600 to report it and please call the Colorado Division of Wildlife at (970)824-6501. Thank you to our wonderful Summit County Animal Shelter staff, especially Donna, Lesley, Virginia and our community services officers here in Breckenridge for taking action, Jessica Howe and especially Dru Dunham – you have gone above and beyond. For those of you who have lost a loved pet in this way I am so terribly sorry. I know our pet has not been the first. Also, thank you to our friends, neighbors and the Highlands HOA. Thank you this has helped in my grieving process and to our beloved “Bogart” you are greatly missed and may you always run free.
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