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Senior shocked after dog attacked, snatched by coyote at Vernon park

Animal grabbed small dog at Kin Racetrack, owner devastated
Alan McMahone and Precious are saddened to learn that their friend Bonnie was snatched by a coyote while being walked by her owner in Kin Racetrack. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

A Vernon woman walking her little dog at the Kin Racetrack tried to fight off a coyote that grabbed the pet, but was unsuccessful.

Alan McMahon said a fellow dog walker lost her shih tzu Bonnie to the wild animal and wants to alert the public.

The 92-year-old said the incident took place a couple weeks ago behind Kal Tire Place, where many walk their dogs around the old horse track, including himself.

“The dog was about five feet from her and the coyote almost ran into her as it grabbed the dog,” McMahon told The Morning Star. “The dog got away and she hit the coyote with something she had in her hand, but it grabbed (the dog) again and away it took off with the dog in its mouth.”

McMahon normally walks his little shih tzu/havanese named Precious in the park and they routinely ran into the woman and her dog Bonnie.

But the last time he saw the woman, she was crying and told her what happened.

“It’s terrible that something like that could happen in Vernon,” McMahon said.

The incident was not reported to the Conservation Office Service (COS), but the service does offer advice about staying safe around coyotes at

“Coyotes are generally not a threat to humans,” reads the website. “Coyotes may kill pets that run loose.”

“Wild coyotes are naturally curious animals, however, they are timid and will usually run away if challenged. Coyotes start posing a risk to people when they lose their wariness and become comfortable around humans - this is usually a result of direct or indirect feeding by humans.”

More information can also be found through WildsafeBC at

If a wolf or coyote has acted aggressively or displayed aggressive behaviour towards a human or pet, report to the COS Call Centre at 1-877-952-7277.

READ MORE: Coyote kills 2 dogs in West Kelowna, injurs third

READ MORE: Garage sales gives back to Vernon nature centre


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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