Katrina Clarke | Nov. 15, 2014 | Toronto Star
Rafal Kubat can’t stop thinking about the moment when a coyote ripped his tiny Yorkshire terrier off her leash as he lay helpless on the ground nearby.
“All I do is replay the whole thing in my head 40 times an hour,” Rafal said.
After a string of recent suspected coyote attacks on small dogs in the GTA, and a report of a woman attacked in her driveway, angry residents are calling on municipalities to act.
In Kubat’s case, the family is frustrated that the city never warned them and that despite following recommendations about what to do if confronted by a coyote, their beloved pet still died.
Kubat was out walking his two dogs, Gucci and Diesel, at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7 near his Mississauga home at Westbridge Way and Financial Drive, when he saw an animal jump out of a bush and run toward him.
“As it got closer I was like ‘Oh s—,’ ” he said. “I got the dogs close to me and I started screaming at it.”
The grey coyote (Kubat says it might have been a coywolf, which is taller than a coyote) was zig-zagging back and forth in front of Kubat, growling, he said.
He tried to stay between his dogs and the animal, but in the chaos, he threw out his knee and fell to the ground.
Then, the coyote pounced, he said. It ripped 8-year-old Gucci off her leash and ran into a forested area.
“(My wife) ran out barefoot and in her pyjamas, screaming,” he said. “All I could say was, ‘It got her, it got her.’ ”
Kubat’s wife, Maggie, who is four months pregnant, is still devastated.
“She’s on my mind non-stop,” she said.
After the attack, Maggie said she ventured into the woods with a knife, searching for Gucci, who has still not been found. Maggie said her husband now sometimes carries a golf club when he goes outside and that he’ll likely need knee surgery after the attack.
She said she reported the incident to the city the next morning and was told someone would call her back. She tried again Monday, but says she hasn’t heard back. She wants the city to send out information pamphlets warning residents.
“They did nothing,” Maggie said. “Maybe they’ll do something eventually when a kid gets his face ripped off.”
Jay Smith, manager of Animal Services with the City of Mississauga, told the Star he will contact the Kubats immediately on Monday.
He said that while the city is concerned about recent attacks, the reports are not unusual. There were two reports of attacks on pets in 2013, and four this year is “not alarming,” he said.
On Nov. 6, a suspected coyote reportedly attacked a woman in her Brampton driveway. Jasmine Bajaj told media the animal snuck up behind her and sunk its teeth into her leg, leaving puncture wounds. She said she is now undergoing precautionary treatment for rabies.
Another Brampton resident was also bitten in September, Brampton Animal Services told the Mississauga News.
Vaughan resident Michael Lombardi said hearing of the recent attacks gave him “goose bumps.”
In October, a suspected coyote attacked his Bichon Frisé in his backyard. . The dog survived, but he’s still worried.
“I fear that they’re just becoming more aggressive,” Lombardi said. He wonders if the city should consider culling the animals.
The attack on the Kubat family’s dog in Mississauga is the fourth involving a pet and a coyote or coywolf in the city this year, according to Mississauga Animal Services.
Smith said the city has attempted to inform the public about coyote sightings through social media and by posting signs in public areas.
He would not comment on if Mississauga would consider a cull and said traps — similar to those the City of Brampton has put in place — are not effective. He advises residents to report sightings by calling 311 and to keep animals on a short leash. If someone encounters a coyote, they should act big, shout and not run away, he said.
The suggestions are cold comfort for Maggie Kubat.
“It just breaks my heart that she was taken from us like that,” she said. “It’s just not how it should be in a city.”