Coyote attacks dog in fourth case since August

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UPDATED, Oct. 7: An Arlington family says its beloved dog is lucky to be alive after it was seriously injured in a Sunday night coyote attack, Channel 7 reported.  Layla, a 5-year-old Labradoodle, was bitten seven times in the neck and lost part of her ear in the attack, the TV station said.

“It was matter of under 10 seconds that she was out there. We suspect it was a coyote that bit her,” Tim McCabe, Layla’s owner, told a Channel 7 reporter.

Layla was in the yard briefly late Sunday, Oct. 3, when she suddenly barked. McCabe says he rushed out and found her hurt.

Asked for a police report, Capt. Richard Flynn responded: "This incident, which took place on the evening of Sunday 10/3, was not reported to the Police Department, thus it did not generate a call for service or report.

Pet is recovering

"Our Animal Control Officer [Diane Walsh] did receive notice from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health Rabies coordinator, on Monday 10/4 of a possible rabies exposure. This information originated from the animal hospital the injured dog was taken to the night before.

"Our Animal Control Officer followed up with the family on this incident. The dog is now home recovering from its injuries."

The incident occurred at a home on Melvin Road, police said.

In the TV report, McCabe was quoted as saying: “These incidents where smaller dogs and little animals are getting attacked by coyotes …. You just got to be with your animals all the time."

Three children in the town have been attacked by coyotes since August. The first was a 5-year-old playing in a sandbox on Cutter Hill Road. In September, a 2-year-old also bitten in the back and dragged on Epping Street, while another 2-year-old was scratched on Summer Hill Circle, near the Minuteman Bikeway.

Arlington police and retired Belmont Animal Control Officer John Maguranis say that one coyote is responsible for all of the attacks. Maguranis is to present at a community forum on Thursday, Oct. 7, to share tips on how to live safely with coyotes. To learn more and register, click here >>

“I want to calm people down, let them know this isn’t a grizzly bear,” he told Channel 7. “This isn’t going to eat people.”

McCabe added that Layla’s surgeon was “pretty clear” about how close the attack came to ending her life.


Sept. 6, 2021: Search continues after 2-year-olds attacked by coyote in separate incidents


This news summary was published Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, and updated with a response from town police, as well as Oct. 7, to add ACMi reference.

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