(Getty Images/David C Stephens)
READING, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A coyote attacked a woman as she protected a small dog in the backyard of her friend's Reading home.
Jessica Jones told WBZ-TV she was opening the door to let her friend’s Golden Retriever-Poodle mix, Roxy, out. That’s when the coyote attacked.
Jones, who was visiting from the U.K, stepped in to protect Roxy and was scratched on the arm by the coyote.
“I stood right by the dog, because I was untangling [the leash],” Jones told WBZ-TV. “I turned around and sort of just hit the coyote in the face.”
The coyote then ran away. Jones was supposed to get on a plane back across the pond, but instead went to the hospital for a full round of rabies shots.
"Our early investigation indicates that this coyote was acting in defense of itself and its pups, and so we do not believe there is any threat to the public," Reading Police said in a Facebook post. "We encourage residents to exercise caution if they're walking in the area but emphasize that we don't believe there is any cause for concern."
The department said the best way to keep coyotes away is to make loud noises, use bright lights, and spray them with water from a hose. They said this also keeps the coyotes wild, as "coyotes that have become dependent on human-associated food can become habituated...and exhibit bold behavior toward humans."
They also shared the following tips to keep coyotes away:
- Secure your garbage
- Keep your bird feeder areas clean
- Protect produce and livestock
- Feed pets indoors
- Close off crawl spaces