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Small dog tragically snatched by coyote from owner's leash in Barrie park

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A Pomeranian dog was snatched from its owner's leash while walking through Sunnidale Park in Barrie this week.

Word of the tragic dog attack spread quickly after staff at the Allandale Veterinary Hospital posted a message on Facebook that read, "There was an incident at Sunnidale Park. One of our clients had their small dog snatched by a coyote very quickly. We wanted to make you aware. The dog was on a leash in the general park area."

"We just felt people needed to be aware there is some risk from coyotes, especially if you have small dogs or even smaller children that you are walking with," said Dr. Patty Lechten.

"I'm vigilant. I have a stick with me because I have been confronted by a coyote before on the sidewalk twice already," said Barrie resident Olga Calvert.

"We actually had another client in yesterday that said their two dogs, who are larger dogs, were attacked by a coyote in the same area, but because they were larger dogs, they just had minor injuries," said Dr. Lechten.

Daniel Lara is a professional dog-walker who had six of his furry friends out with him on Thursday. Lara said after hearing the news, several community dog walkers became concerned.

"Some of us even came out and helped out and noticed some coyote dens in the area. The best thing we can do is just stay cautious and keep your dogs on a leash and carry a deterrent with you if you can," he said.

A sign posted by the park warns people about potential coyote activity in the area, asking residents not to approach or feed coyotes. It also says if you are approached by one, make noise and jump up and down to scare it off. Never run - back away slowly."

"Oh my gosh, they are here all the time. We see them ... walking up the middle of the road around 11 or 11:30 a.m. up the road, hop the fence, and it darts underneath the fence over there," said resident Mike Carlin.

The signs in the area also advise that if a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 911.

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