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Coyote snatches puppy from West Omaha lawn

KETV Omaha logo KETV Omaha 9/10/2017

A West Omaha family is without its dog, Oreo, after it said she was attacked and eaten by a wild coyote near 198th and Harrison streets. Now, the Humane Society and wildlife officials are working to prevent future issues.

"It came like a bullet, like, if you had 50 machine guns you couldn't stop her," said Kari Olson.

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In the blink of an eye, Olson said, a coyote snatched her sheltie puppy right from her front yard.

"She didn't have a chance," Olson said.

Oreo was nearly four months old and weighed just under 7 pounds.

"She would just hop and fly like a bunny," Olson said. "Just full of energy."

On Thursday around 9 p.m., Olson let Oreo and her older sheltie outside to go to the bathroom. The two well-trained dogs were off their leashes and Olson was standing right next to them in the yard.

"(The coyote) just swooped her up and just grabbed her and took her down the field and heard a couple yelps and chased her on down there and looked for her for quite a while."

The Olson family called police, who helped searched. Olson and her son went back out later on Thursday night with flashlights, calling Oreo's name for three hours. They never found Oreo or her remains.

"(My son) found blood trails, so we followed the drops and it led towards Harrison Street and across Harrison Street and then you just saw drips into the grass."

The Nebraska Humane Society started investigating Friday and set up a dog trap with food bait in the Olson's yard.

Olson said the coyote took off into an empty field and headed toward a creek bed. Kelli Brown, director of field operations for the Nebraska Humane Society, said as the neighborhood develops, the coyotes are learning how to live in residential areas.

"Concerning to me is the owner was standing right next to the dog when it happened," Brown said.

Now, Olson is warning her neighbors.

"Watch your dogs. Watch your kids," Olson said. "I don't know what's out there, if it's mountain lions or coyotes, but this one was a coyote and he was quick."

If a coyote is caught in a trap, the Humane Society will remove the animal from the area. The state Game and Parks Commission also responded Friday and set up traps.

"If you have large fields near you, large wooded areas, especially if you're hearing coyotes at night, it is not ideal to be allowing your dogs to roam," Brown said. "Even if it's right in front of you in your own front yard, they will run right up in there. Best bet is to keep them in a fenced area or put them on a tether right next to you and you're in plain sight of that coyote."

Olson said her family is considering getting another sheltie puppy after the loss of Oreo.

"It's been a real rough night and I don't think anybody slept," Olson said. "We've all cried and we've all talked about it and we don't want it to happen to anybody else."

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