Hiker’s goldendoodle dies after coyote attack on Hamilton trail

A Hamilton pet owner is calling for more signage on local trails after his dog was killed by a pack of coyotes while hiking. Fotosearch via Getty Images/FILE

A Hamilton resident is calling on the city to take action after his pet Goldendoodle named Holly was attacked by a pack of coyotes on the Bruce Trail.

READ MORE: What to do if you spot a coyote

Theron Wood, Holly’s owner, says he was hiking near Iroquois Heights on Oct. 16 when it happened.

Holly was on a leash, he says, but broke free from his grip after hearing footsteps in the woods.

“It gets my heart pumping, just thinking how quickly it was,” he said. “I just hear two of them grab her by the neck and drag her off.”

“Eventually, once I got to her, man, it was just a horrible sight.”

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Wood says a pack of around five coyotes descended upon Holly but dispersed when he approached.

Holly was rushed to a vet, but her injuries were too severe and she had to be put down, Wood says.

He’s now asking why there aren’t more signs along the trail to alert hikers about the presence of coyotes and the potential danger they pose.

“There’s no safety sign saying ‘coyote warning,'” said Wood.

Gord Costie with the Hamilton Conservation Authority says the organization has posted warnings at gatehouses and trailheads but that these types of incidents are rare.

“To date, we have not received any significant reports or even sightings,” he said.

READ MORE: Hamilton Conservation Authority issues coyote warning

Costie encourages residents to continue engaging with nature and using the trails while being mindful that wildlife could be nearby.

Coyotes tend to shy away from humans but can be opportunistic when it comes to small pets, according the Hamilton Conservation Authority. Costie’s advice is to keep pets on a leash while on the trail and avoid approaching or feeding coyotes.

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Wood says he doesn’t see more being done to create awareness. He plans to launch a petition to get coyote warning signs erected along Hamilton’s trails.