NORTHFIELD, OH (WOIO) - It was terrifying ordeal for a Summit County dog owner after her pup was attacked and dragged away by a coyote.
"He's like our family. We have parties for sugar. My NeNe watches him every weekend when I don weddings and he's just so special and so happy. he brings so much joy to people," said Northfield resident Jackie Jaggers.
But this past Thursday night, Jackie and her "NeNe," Janet Jerman's worst nightmare came true - As Jackie and Sugar were sitting on the porch, a wild coyote suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
"He ran towards it to scare the coyote and the coyote picked him up by the head by the ears," recalls Jackie.
Then came the uncertainty for hours, Jackie just knew her little Sugar was dead.
"We heard the loud yelp of the animal grabbing his head. We were out in cars looking for him with the lights and people were deep in the woods til about three in the morning."
Out of pure grief Jackie turned to Facebook posting a status about how she just lost her *Sweet Happy Beautiful Four Legged Friend."
But just hours later, a ray of light broke through what seemed to be an overhanging dark cloud.
"A good samaritan saw the story on social media and they actually messaged that the sheriff found him up the street," said Jackie.
It turns out the Coyote that snatched up little sugar for whatever reason dropped him off at this ditch that you see behind me, less than a mile away from the Jaggers' family home. Jackie however says it was a miracle he was able to survive for so long.
Now she wants to warn people about the unexpected dangers of Northfield.
"They're getting so brave to come into my front yard and snatch my dog. It's wild," said Jackie.
"The herds have to be controlled. It's just a little bit too much now. We just can't stop crying because we're happy. We're so grateful," said Jerman.
Jackie would just like to thank everyone that helped make the ending to this story a happy one.
"To Heather that did the post, to just everyone that helped. To the sheriff and the vets and everyone that helped us, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and your support in just bringing my baby home to me," said Jerman.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says that an encounter with an urban coyote is seldom a cause for alarm, but here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
- Understand that coyotes are common throughout Ohio.
- If you spot a coyote on your property, make sure to remove all "attractants" to deter the coyote from returning, including securing garbage and removing outside pet food primarily before nightfall. Remember to clean up around the grill as well.
- Keep small dogs and cats inside, especially between sunset and sunrise, because coyotes prey primarily on small mammals.
- Make noise, clap your hands, and shout. The coyote will likely move on at this point. A coyote that loses its fear of humans can potentially become a threat.
- If a coyote does not respond to harassment, such as loud noises, or it is presenting a conflict even after attractants are removed, contact a licensed nuisance trapper.
The ODNR says there is no immediate need to report a coyote sighting unless it appears hurt, sick, and fearless of humans.