By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dog owners in Bloomington are on alert after dogs are being killed by a coyote.

“We’ve had two in the past six days, “said Deputy Chief Mike McCarthy.

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One attack happened in the 9300 block of Briar Road, and the other near Dred Scott Park.

“Both were small statured dogs, approximately 12 pounds each and these attacks occurred in the evening or in the nighttime hours, “said McCarthy.

McCarthy says homeowners who went to check on their dogs after the attack saw the coyote walk away. They believe the animal weighs about 24 pounds.

He thinks the search for food is pushing coyotes into the neighborhood.

“The first-year pups are not getting out on their own, but also with the amount of rain that we’ve had this summer, the river bottoms are flooded so that’s habitat that is no longer available to the coyote,“ McCarthy said.

Max and Bailey bring Mya to this dog park in west Bloomington.

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“There are no coyotes in here,” they said.  “This is a safe place if you want to bring your dog somewhere. Yes, it’s the perfect place to bring our go small dogs especially.“

Mya joins other dogs and their owners who feel a fenced-in dog park is one way to keep your pet safe from coyotes.

Max says making sure your dog understands commands is another way to keep them out of harm’s way.

“Train them well so they stay close to you and listen well so they don’t just run off into the woods and get attacked by who knows what,” Max said.

“If you do encounter a coyote, make noise,” said McCarthy.

Police say making sure your garbage and your pet’s food is inaccessible is another way to keep coyotes out of your yard.

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Bloomington Police have other tips on how to keep your pet safe from coyotes on their website.

Reg Chapman