Heads up! Woman warns others after dog is attacked by coyotes during walk

SMYRNA, Ga. — A woman who was out walking her three dogs Friday morning ended up being chased by two coyotes. She told Channel 2 Action News the coyotes bit her 85-pound lab.

Trish Gallup is thankful two of dogs, Boomer and Tracker, are uninjured. Her third dog, Radar, whom she called the leader of the pack, was bitten three times by coyotes as they took their normal walk.

Gallup said as they walked, she heard a commotion, then saw Radar running.

"I thought, 'OMG, this is bad,'" Gallup said.

A picture of a coyote on the path at the River Line Soccer Park on Oakdale Road made its way onto the Nextdoor app, and lots of people responded saying they, too, have seen coyotes in the area.


Wildlife experts told Channel 2 Action News a coyote attack on a large dog is unusual, but they said it's not surprising to find coyotes in what they call transition areas. These are areas with cut grass and various types of vegetation.

Dog owner Sarah Clark said she is mindful her dog could be a target, but it won't stop her from coming to the park.

"I'm always mindful to make sure that she's in my sight and she's not jumping into the weeds or the bushes," Clark said.

Channel 2's Lori Wilson called Georgia's Department of Natural Resources.

Dr. Tina Johannsen said this is a normal year for coyotes. They had more than 650 calls into their regional offices.

"They're just going from point A to point B looking for something to eat," Johannsen said.

Johannsen recommends keeping cats and small dogs fenced in or on a leash. She also said it is OK to kill coyotes and encourages anyone who is interested to take part in the Coyote Challenge.The Georgia Coyote Challenge is open to everyone who catches or kills a coyote in Georgia through Aug. 31.

The top prize is a lifetime hunting license.

For more information and for alternative options for managing and co-existing with coyotes, please CLICK HERE.