Yesterday, here in Massachusetts, a poor and sweet little white dog named “Lucy” was attacked and killed by coyotes when she was sent outside at 1 am to do her business in a garden that backed a heavily wooded area. Poor Lucy was not only killed by a pack of at least six coyotes, but more, her owners stepped out to find her and found the coyotes feeding off of the poor dog’s body. It’s a gruesome and horrible thing to happen to both dog and owner and I can only say that my heart does go out to the owners and that, were it my animal, I can only imagine the devastation I would feel, for even the simple and ordinary loss of an animal to age is one of the hardest losses one will ever endure. Ask anyone who has had pets and they’ll tell you, or you know yourself. It’s just hard, perhaps because of their innocence and sweetness. Whatever the case, what happened to poor Lucy and her owners is awful but I’m sorry to report not the first case of this kind in recent months and no doubt, will not be the last for one simple reason: we do not learn.
Here in Massachusetts and, no doubt, in other states with a any mentionable amount of rural area that is currently being developed, we are seeing a dramatic rise in the instance of animal and wild life clashes with humans and their pets that are, needless to say, not for the good.
This past week alone saw two family dogs mauled by wild coyotes that, in both cases as reported on the news, not only took the dogs down and injured them, but then stayed to feed on the bodies. To reiterate, the family looked out their back window and saw poor Lucy being mauled and eaten by the pack of coyotes who had emerged from the thick of the woods. Other reports from a few months ago had toddlers and young children attacked by coyotes as well, and others by raccoons and rabid squirrels, and more recently, I heard of a toddler who was attacked by, of all things, a rabid skunk. The child will now need nine months of tetanus treatment shots from the incident. The report noted, “The skunk was nowhere to be found.”
All reports state that this is happening more and more as we develop further and further into animals' natural habitat, which to me, makes perfect sense. We build roads and highways across deer migratory routes and then seem surprised when a deer runs in front of our car or any car, as if the deer, not us, should not be there. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s obviously an incredible loss to any family who should face a death because of a head-on collision with a deer or moose, but the key here is to learn from such incidents and work toward prevention, not to just stick up a few signs with cute animals on them and hand out yellow bumper stickers that say “I break for moose” because yes, you will break for moose but in ways you could never imagine.