NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A college student is mourning the loss of her beloved dog after it was killed by a coyote.
Blake Hare got a Chiweenie mix on Craigslist from someone who wanted to get rid of the runt of the litter. After saving the puppy, she named her Nellie, and they've been inseparable for a decade.
"Nellie was just my best friend completely, she would sneeze, and it was like the best thing that would ever happen to me," said Hare.
Nellie loved their backyard until tragedy struck Friday at midnight. "It was very bold for a wild animal to feel brave enough to scale our fence and attack our dog," Hare said.
Blake said she was screaming, but it did nothing. "By the fifth time I was banging the pots and pans together,” Hare said. “It finally left, but it had grabbed her by the neck, so the damage was done, it killed her instantly."
Fortunately, the coyote didn’t run off with her fur baby so she was able to cremate it.
Blake said she'd never seen one before, so she posted online to warn her neighbors about what happened. "A lot of people made comments that they typically travel in packs, but it was by itself so I'm not sure,” Hare said,” All of the deforestation and not having anywhere to go?"
The Donelson home is right next to the airport, and it’s loud because it’s in the flight path. She’s shocked a coyote wasn’t scared away by all the noise. She also didn't realize how easy it is for a coyote to scale, or crawl under, a chain link fence. She hopes other people with small dogs will take precautions.
"There’s a rolling bar attachment you can get for chain link fences so should a coyote or fox, or another large animal, try to scale up,” Hare said. “The rolling bar would have slid back down.”
If she could turn back time, Blake said would only walk Nellie on a leash, and not let her out at night. Hare said, "It definitely seemed surreal."
Blake said some pet owners recommend purchasing a protective coyote vest with spikes for small dogs and cats. They also help ward off owls and hawks that are hunting.
Wildlife agents have fielded an uptick in calls about aggressive coyotes recently. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesperson said it’s due to more people being out and about during the summer. They said pet owners should watch small animals closely as coyotes can be territorial, or out hunting for food.