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Westham Island dog survives brazen coyote attack

Bites were big enough for vet to believe the 13-year-old English Springer Spaniel had been attacked by a wolf steps outside her front door
Lacy, a 13-year-old English Springer Spaniel, was rushed to a Vancouver emergency clinic for late night surgery after being attacked by two coyotes last week at her Westham Island home.

A 13-year-old English Springer Spaniel has survived a brazen coyote attack just steps from her Westham Island home.

It was around 9 p.m. last Monday (Dec. 5) when Lacy went outside for her regular evening bathroom break.

“I was watching the hockey game and my wife was upstairs and she let our dog out as we always do. (Lacy) was out there for no more than a minute and these two coyotes that were either on the street or in the field across the street from us came out and were on her for no more than two minutes,” said owner Doug Allen. ”I threw on my boots on and went running out there. My wife was screaming and they were gone by that time. (Lacy) slinked her way into the house and collapsed. There was blood everywhere.”

The Allens were fortunate to find the Intercity Animal Emergency Clinic in Vancouver was open with a surgeon available and raced off to the Southwest Marine Drive location from their Savage Road home. They stayed with her at the clinic until 1 a.m. and were thrilled to hear later she had made it through the night. She is now back home. Her extensive recovery requires about a half-a-dozen medications.

Based on the size of the wounds on Lacy’s back, the vet believed she had been attacked by a wolf. The Allens told him they have lived on Westham Island for 16 years and there are no wolves. Doug, later was able to confirm it was two coyotes thanks to the tracks they had left behind on their snow covered property.

“A friend of mine is a trapper and he said it was a really large male. They usually hunt in packs of two. (Lacy) is 35 pounds and they tried to pack her away but they couldn’t do it. Most of my neighbours have smaller dogs that are like seven or eight pounds, so I called them all and told them to keep them inside.”

Allen added the coyotes typically live within the nearby George Reifel Bird Sanctuary and believes the recent cold snap had limited their food options.

“About three weeks ago, one walked right by our back door. I didn't see it, but my neighbour saw it,” said Doug. “We're right on the water and a big male was also seen walking along the dike. There’s not too many people out here and everybody kind of knows everybody. We have encountered them before, but not to this degree.

“We got lucky, because the bites didn't break any bones and didn’t collapse her lung. If that would have happened, she probably wouldn't have made it. She's had a very good life out here. I'm retired and a hunter and she gets to hunt pheasants. It’s been really good and I didn’t want to see her end her life that way.”