News

Actions

What killed this dog? Pet dragged away by predator in Foothills, experts investigate

COYOTES FOOTHILLS PKG .jpg
Posted at 11:29 AM, Oct 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-26 13:29:18-04

BOISE, Idaho — This article was originally published by Sally Krutzig in the Idaho Statesman.

When a dog went missing from a Boise yard, the owners didn’t know what happened. Idaho Fish and Game staff went into the Foothills to investigate.

After letting the 18-pound miniature Labradoodle out in the backyard on Sunday morning, a local pet owner returned to the yard to find a trail of blood leading up over a 4-foot retaining wall and out into the Foothills, according to a news release.

A Fish and Game conservation officer arrived Monday to investigate the pet’s disappearance from its residence on North 8th Street near Hulls Gulch.

The officer didn’t find the dog, but he did find its collar about 100 yards from the home — surrounded by bobcat and coyote tracks, Brian Pearson, Idaho Fish and Game spokesperson, told the Idaho Statesman.

The officer was unable to “say definitively what type of predator was responsible for the attack,” but believes clues from the scene indicate a large feline predator, likely a bobcat, took the dog, and then coyotes scavenged and removed the body, according to the release.

“One of the many things to love about living in Idaho is that — even in Boise — we are situated on the edge of the untamed,” Josh Royse, Idaho Fish and Game Southwest regional supervisor, said in the release. “But when you live in that urban-wildland interface, predators are a part of the landscape. An apparent wildlife attack on a dog is a truly unfortunate reminder of that reality.”

Idaho Fish and Game said the attack followed a number of recent sightings of predators including mountain lions, bobcats and black bears. The department said these animals come closer to town in the winter.

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR PETS?

Here’s what Idaho Fish and Game said pet owners can do to prevent a similar fate from befalling more furry friends.

  • Never feed wildlife.
  • Secure your garbage.
  • Close off crawl spaces to stop predators from using them as shelters.
  • Cut back thick brush to prevent predators and their prey from using it as hiding spaces.
  • Mind your bird feeders to make sure messy feeders don’t attract small prey for predators to feed on. Feed pets indoors.
  • Keep an eye on vulnerable small pets.