TORONTO — An Ontario woman undergoing terminal cancer treatment says she’d just gotten home from the hospital when a coyote snatched her dog and mauled it to death in front of her.
Ajax resident Maria Ferrante spent the last three weeks at Southlake Regional Health Centre undergoing treatment and was being taken home by her son, who lives in Markham, on Thursday evening.
On the way home, Ferrante said they planned to stop at her son’s house quickly to drop something off.
When she arrived at the home, in the Parkway Avenue and Sir Bedevere Place area, she said she let her six-year-old dog named Cici out on the front lawn to go pee.
She said Cici walked over to the neighbours’ lawn to go pee and, at that point, she heard “yelling and screaming.”
“That’s when I saw the coyote and he had Cici hanging from his mouth,” Ferrante said. “The dog then started running down the street with Cici.”
Ferrante said Cici was dropped in one of the neighbours’ backyards and was dead when they found her, adding that no one was able to catch the coyote.
“He left her in the backyard and took off. They couldn’t get him,” she said.
Ferrante said she felt “completely helpless” as she watched the coyote run away with her dog and that it all happened in a split-second.
She said Cici has been with her through every step of her terminal cancer diagnosis and feels completely lost without her.
“I have suffered depression for so many years. She basically stayed in bed with me for so many years, being my companion,” Ferrante said.
“Everyone just adored Cici.”
Ferrante said the coyote has been sighted during the day and night recently and it doesn’t seem afraid to interact with humans.
She said she’s worried that next time the coyote will attack a human, as children are often out playing in the area.
SECOND DOG SNATCHED FROM AREA
Earlier this month, a coyote attacked and killed a 13-year-old dog just blocks away from where Cici was killed.
An eight-pound dog was out for a walk with his owners in the area of Mint Leaf Park, near 16th Avenue and Ninth Line, when the coyote approached and attacked.
Video captured by neighbours and sent to CTV News Toronto before that incident showed a coyote roaming the residential streets surrounding the park appearing to search for food. In another video, a coyote can be seen charging at a family.
Wildlife experts say that coyotes will frequent urban areas in search of food and will become conditioned to people who live nearby.
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