Not even a tall fence can shield a small dog from a coyote

Boug recovers from a coyote attack. Photo courtesy Jade Suarzo

Jade Suarzo of Echo Park was taking care of a friend’s dog,   Boug, a chihuahua mix from Glassell Park,  earlier this month. One afternoon,  Suarzo let Boug and her own dog, a beagle named Buster, romp around in the backyard, which is surrounded by a six-foot high fence.  The woman left the two dogs alone for a few minutes to go inside and answer her phone. That fence, however, could not keep out  a determined coyote, which apparently dug a hole to enter the backyard.  The sounds of Boug screeching and howling sent Suarzo running outside:

“I ran outside, and not more than 15 feet away from my backdoor I find a coyote with it’s jaws clamped around Boug. The coyote was thrashing her around. I had no idea what to do. I started screaming. Luckily my roommate (Josh Lit – A hero) happened to be within earshot. He ran outside, grabbed a pole picker (a long wooden pole used to pick fruit from a tree), approached the coyote, and hit the coyote on the back repeatedly. I don’t think he hurt the coyote but, it must have been enough to scare it. The coyote retreated into a bush, with the Boug in it’s jaws. I thought it was over for the poor girl. Within seconds Boug appeared from the bushes, covered in blood, both sides of her torso were sliced open, but she could walk… I was beside myself.”

Suarzo, who lives near Baxter Street and Princeton Avenue, took Boug to the Echo Park Animal Hospital, where the dog was rushed into surgery. The 9-pound dog  (pictured above) has sustained six-inch long lacerations on both sides of her torso, but none of her arteries were punctured or her bones broken.  Boug is back home in Glassell Park. She still has stitches but is doing fine.Suarzo, however, remains worried about her own dog’s safety, and wants other Echo Park dog owners to be aware of the risks.

“We’ve since patched the hole [under the fence] and haven’t seen a trace of coyotes since,” she said. “But I’m VERY wary of letting my dog back in the yard … I don’t think I ever will unless he’s leashed… I’m too scared.”


  1. I see coyotes around that area ALL the time- even during the day, especially in the morning. I think they know their potential prey and go for it- and a small dog, cat (or child!) would be an obvious target to a coyote. Keep your pets and kids within your sight.

  2. I’m very sorry that the little dog got hurt, but thankfully she still has her life. May I suggest for your peace of mind, that you install an underground fence around the perimeter of your property, to prevent animals from digging under your above-ground fence? My guess is it wouldn’t have to extend more than two feet below the surface to deter digging and prevent access to your yard by determined animals.

  3. You might like to check out http:f//www.rosiecoyote.com Lots of good info on coyotes in the urban interface and how to deal with them in harmony. You can’t get rid of them (nor should you) so we have to learn to live with them. Glad to hear your dog made – very lucky dog.
    all the best
    skip haynes

  4. Poor Boug! He still looks scared! Glad people were around to help and he didn’t end up on one of those sad lost dog posters. Every time I see one of those posters it’s hard for me not to assume the lost animal in question has long since been turned to coyote chow.

  5. Actually, coyotes can go *over* a 6 foot fence as well. I’ve seen it happen in my neighbor’s yard. Yet another reason not to leave a pet in a back or front yard for any length of time – and particularly not near dawn, dusk or the evening hours.

  6. Easy solution: move. Coyotes live there, its your fault if you pet or child gets mauled

  7. I am so scared. My son was walking to the bus stop early morning like 6:45 and he saw a coyote nearby and he didn’t know what to do. I live by the echo park lake…
    I just didn’t think coyotes can be luring the city…I checked online for preventive measures. Thanks for the comments and concerns.

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