Coyote kills Lakewood family's dog

Experts warn coyote breeding season is here

LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Breeding season is here for coyotes and experts say they're as dangerous as ever. It is a lesson a Lakewood family learned Saturday.

"I don't think Buster had a chance," said Jeff Magaw.

Magaw's dachshund was killed by a coyote that jumped the fence outside his home. Magaw and his fiancée had just let the dog outside to play. When Buster didn't come back inside after half an hour like usual they knew something was wrong.

Magaw later found a trail of blood across the street from his home and found the dog's remains.

"I thought because he was fenced in that he was protected," Magaw told 7NEWS. "You don't think that during the middle of the day that we're putting them in harm by having them outside."

Wildlife officials said January and February are months that coyotes breed and will become more aggressive.

"We need to change some of our behaviors a little bit to make sure that we're maintaining a healthy line between us and these animals," said Jennifer Churchill with the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Churchill said coyotes have become increasingly accustomed to humans in Colorado and no longer have a fear of humans. It's the reason she said people need to take precautions, especially this time of the year.

"They're going to get a little more territorial as they start to get together and figure out where they're going to breed and den to raise their pups," Churchill said.

Experts recommend people keep their dogs on leashes when outside for protection. Also, scare away any coyotes that may show up in neighborhoods.

"We really need to put that natural fear back in our coyotes in order for us to co-exist," Churchill said.

Jeff Magaw and his fiancée now want everyone to know the dangers coyotes pose.

"I don't want to see it happen to anybody else," Magaw said. "I just want people to be aware and know that this thing happens more often than not."