‘It’s nerve wracking’: Coyote attacks reported on Nitro dogs

Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 7:05 PM EST
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NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Karen Fritz said three weeks ago, her seven-year-old dog Chihuahua, Katie, bolted into her house screaming in distress.

“She was really hurt,” Fritz recalled. “I’ve never heard her scream like that before,” she recalled.

“The vet did confirm that it was a coyote attack because of the way she was bit, that just seemed like the coyote had grabbed her right in the middle.”

Katie’s attack is not the first on a dog in Nitro.

“The city has received multiple complaints in recent weeks about coyotes and they are dining on many people’s pets, including their dogs and their cats,” said Delegate-Elect Andy Shamblin.

Shamblin said he has lived in Nitro his whole life and never heard of a coyote issue this extreme.

“[My dad’s] neighbor had their beloved dog, real small, little dog, pet chihuahua and they literally watched as a coyote came up into their yard late one evening, and snatched it and carried it off and had it for dinner.”

Shamblin said he has been in contact with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to figure out what the city can do about the problem.

Paul Johansen, the Chief of Wildlife Resources, said coyotes have been in West Virginia between 30 and 40 years, making them fairly new residents to the state and are in all of the state’s 55 counties.

Shamblin said he has looked into how Nitro can remove the coyotes.

He said the city is considering filling out an application for the coyotes to be legally hunted during next year’s bow season because they are considered a public nuisance, but it would take action from Nitro’s city council to take the next steps.

In the meantime, Shamblin said coyotes are naturally afraid of humans, so if one comes across, jump up and down and make noise to scare it.

Additionally, remove anything that may attract the coyote to the yard including food sources and water.

Do not let small animals wander on their own and keep them on a leash.

The DNR’s District office in Nitro can be reached at 304-756-1023.