Police warn residents to be on alert after coyotes kill family dog

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Shelby Township police are warning residents to keep a close eye on their pets after two coyotes attacked and killed a dog in the backyard of home near 24 and Mound roads. 

Anne Klee lives in the 53000 block of Odilon Avenue and said she had heard about coyotes being spotted in the area but never saw one until Thursday night. She said it was around 11 p.m. when she let out her Maltese mix named Bella. 

“I was standing in the garage watching her when I saw two coyotes; two of them walk through my yard," Klee said. 

The attacked happened quickly. 

“One ripped her off and had her in its mouth while the other one stood guard,” Klee said. “I wanted to run after her, but my husband stopped me and said the coyote would come after me.”

Klee said she called police, who were able to follow the coyotes' tracks in the snow. Bella's body was found on the next street over. 

“Coyotes' numbers are on the rise in our area,” said Sgt. Pat Barnard. “We’re getting more frequent encounters with them, and people should call police if they see a coyote, especially one in their yard.”

Police shared with Local 4 a video of a coyote roaming around a neighborhood near 16 Mile and Scheonherr roads. Earlier this year, another family pet was attacked and killed at a home near 26 Mile and Mound roads, police said. 

“What we’re seeing is that the populations are increasing and there’s not a great deal of hunting that takes care of that, so their numbers are going to up and we’re going to get increased encounters," Barnard said. 

Barnard said that if anyone encounters a coyote to call police right away. If a pet or a person is in danger, their officers will do what they have to do to take the coyote down.

For Klee, Bella was much more than just a dog. 

“I adopted her when she was 4 years old. She just turned 11,” Klee said. “I would take her to the elderly persons home because she made everyone happy.”

Klee wants other families and pet owners to be aware of what could be lurking in their neighborhoods.

“Watch your dog, watch your dog closely,” Klee said. “This was an image I’ll never be able to forget.”