Coyote snatches small dog in Delaware County backyard as police issue warning to pet owners

Marple Township is issuing a warning after a beloved family dog was snatched by a coyote.

His name was Fred and the almost 9-year-old little Terrier was being watched by a family on the 200 block of Woodside Lane, in Broomall, last Thursday afternoon.

His owner’s dad said his wife let Fred out in the backyard, as she always does, when a large coyote snatched the beloved pet and ran into the woods.

The news has folks concerned, including Billy DiFabio, of Broomall.

"I have two little dogs," DiFabio said. "Two Morkies. One is five pounds. One is eight pounds, so now I’m not gonna put them out on the deck because you are telling me there’s coyotes. I love my dogs."

Marple Township Police Chief Brandon Graeff says, "We’ve had about three sightings in the last three days."

Coyotes are often seen in wooded areas and sightings near residential areas are becoming more common.

With the most recent one taking a tragic turn, police are issuing an alert on social media to be vigilant. Chief Graeff says, "With smaller dogs, make sure they’re on a leash and with you, if you don’t have a fenced-in backyard. Definitely want to keep dogs leashed and with you."

Frank Logan lives a few doors down from the coyote attack. His yard backs onto the woods where several deer were seen feeding.

"I believe I’ve seen one one time a year, or so, ago," Logan stated. "They say they are everywhere. If I have my grandchildren over, I’d probably tell them to stay away from the woods."

Sweet Fred even had his own Instagram page, titled FredFitzstagram.

DiFabio says he can’t imagine, "It's alarming, but what do you do if you see a coyote?"

Police say call 911 and Chief Graeff added, "Make a noise. Get it away from your property. It will be skittish. They’ll most likely run. They’ll be as scared of you as you are of them."

Wildlife experts say coyotes are more active in the spring when they are caring for their young and looking for food to take care of their families.