Local official reminds owners to watch pets after dog in Aspen taken by coyote

Staff report

A dog was recently taken and killed by a coyote in the Aspen area and Pitkin County’s animal safety officer is warning pet owners to be diligent when letting animals outside, especially at night.

An Aspen resident who lives near Mollie Gibson Park at the base of Smuggler Mountain reported that she let her Maltese dog outside in her fenced yard about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 and a coyote jumped the fence, grabbed it and ran off, Baker said.

“My suggestion to people is that if you let your dog out at night, please stay outside (with it),” Pitkin County’s ReRe Baker said Friday. “Even if (the yard) is fenced in, it won’t stop a mountain lion or coyote from taking it.”

If residents don’t want to remain outside in the cold while a pet goes to the bathroom at night, she suggested putting the animal on a short leash and monitoring it from a window. Some people even leash their cats while outside at night, Baker said.

“This isn’t unusual,” she said. “This is coyote country. (When an animal is killed), it’s just horrible for a pet owner and for the pet itself. It’s really a tragedy.”

Baker said she hadn’t heard of other dogs being taken this winter, though it happens infrequently.

Brian Olson, Snowmass Village police chief, said the same thing happens from time to time in that area as well, though he hadn’t heard of similar episodes this winter so far.


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