Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dogs prove to be just as dangerous as coyotes when provoked

It isn't uncommon for people to run the risk of becoming involved in an attack by a wild animal, and many people are unprepared to handle such an incident. Without the right defense tools, individuals may suffer injuries when confronted by an aggressive creature.

Recently, coyotes have made headlines for roaming into populated areas and posing a threat to the public. Although humans are guilty of invading their natural habitat, coyotes are not afraid to come into contact with them, especially when on the prowl. These nocturnal animals are willing to eat anything, including household pets and other small animals native to the area.

In an effort to control the growing population of coyotes in the region, Colorado wildlife officials recently announced that they have killed nine coyotes since July, according to The Denver Post. This comes after a small boy was bitten by a coyote on August 19 while walking down the street with his family. The animal came out of the woods and did not appear to have any definitive reason to bite the child, who had not provoked it.

"Considering that we've had three aggressive incidents in this neighborhood, we were seeing a pattern of behavior that really concerned us," Jennifer Churchill, a local wildlife official, told the news source.

Experts are attempting to control the population through killing these aggressive animals, which appear to be encroaching more and more on neighborhoods in the area.

"We teach our kids the things to do [if they see a coyote], but ... when they're 6 and 7, they're not going to remember that in the moment," Lisa Hrivnak, a mother of children living in the region, told the news source. "So maybe it does make it safer if there are fewer [coyotes] out there."

However, it's sometimes the unsuspecting animals that can cause the most damage to humans. Dogs are commonly referred to as man's best friend, but their natural instincts can come out when their owners least expect it.

This was recently the cause in Stoughton, Massachusetts, when a family dog turned on its loved ones. A 2-year-old was hospitalized after his own pet bit him, according to The Enterprise. Police who arrived on the scene noted that the toddler's injuries were serious, but not life-threatening. He was taken to a nearby hospital for his wounds.

"He's fine," the child's father, who wished to remain anonymous, told the news source. "Thank you for your concern."

Following the incident, Sergeant Paul McCallum reported to The Enterprise that the family does not to intend to keep the dog in the house any longer. The 11-year-old husky is not typically aggressive, according to its owners.

A similar attack recently occurred in South Carolina involving a 10-year-old girl, according to The Associated Press. A child was bitten in the face by a pit bull mix when she walked up to hug it and the animal turned aggressive. Police officers who responded to the scene said that the injuries were not life-threatening, but the girl immediately needed medical attention.

Although the child was not outright provoking the animal, the incident proves that dogs can just as easily turn aggressive as other creatures, such as coyotes. Those who want to increase their personal safety might want to buy pepper spray. When used properly, it can temporarily blind an animal and give an individual the chance to flee the scene. Pepper spray can be especially helpful when improving the safety of small children and elderly adults. 

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