Northern Virginia

Virginia Community Says Coyotes Attacked, Killed at Least 3 Dogs

Residents of a community in Northern Virginia say coyotes have attacked and killed at least three small dogs in recent months.

One family, who did not want to be identified, said their 12-year-old dog Chipper was attacked one night in March near their home in the Lake Barcroft community in Fairfax County. 

When Chipper and his owner briefly went outside, the owner noticed two coyotes in her yard.

“The next thing she knew, she heard the dog across the street in the woods,” neighbor Michelle Healy said.

Children found Chipper laying lifeless on the ground the next day, Healy said.

Since that attack, at least two more small dogs died in similar attacks, according to neighbors.

While police have not verified any of the attacks, they have previously offered the following advice for preventing coyotes from lurking near homes:

  • Cover trashcans and composte piles
  • Don't feed your pets outside
  • Don't store pet food outside
  • Pick up any fallen or ripened fruit from trees
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