A couple was walking their dog in the Inner Richmond last week when they say a pack of four coyotes emerged from shadows grabbed their 13-year-old terrier Roscoe.
SF bar manager Lyndsay Przybyl tells NBC Bay Area that she was terrified when, while walking Roscoe with her boyfriend Tim on Dec. 7, they were suddenly surrounded by four coyotes. They were near Tim's home and Przybyl says she had just let Roscoe off his leash, because she typically did this when they were a half block away.
"Let me tell you. I will never do that again," she says.
Przybyl says the coyotes appeared as if out of nowhere, from in between cars on the street, near the intersection of 10th Avenue and California Street. And when Roscoe gave chase, one of the coyotes grabbed the dog by his neck and ran off.
Przybyl tells NBC Bay Area that Tim ran after the coyotes, and eventually the one dropped Roscoe and ran off.
This attack does seem unusual. Reports of attacks like this have tended to be confined to park areas, especially around Stern Grove where dog owners will sometimes let their pets off leash.
But these coyotes have gotten bold in their movements around the city.
Roscoe is reportedly recovering, after Przybyl rushed him to Oakland for emergency veterinary care. He was treated for six puncture wounds, including a serious one on the back of his neck that required a staple.
Przybyl tells SFGate that she reported the incident to Animal Care & Control. And, she says, "I’m forever grateful for [the veterinarians] and my boyfriend. He’s truly a hero. I’m tearing up just talking about it. … There was a lot of panic and regret.”
Deb Campbell, a spokesperson for Animal Care & Control, tells SFGate that the boldness of the coyotes is both because the pandemic provided them with more empty streets to roam onto, and because humans are illegally feeding them. The animals have become accustomed to getting food from humans, and they perceive pets the way they perceive any prey animal, including squirrels — and they may even think a pet off a leash is another free meal being given to them.
Photo via Lindsay Przybyl