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SALT LAKE CITY — It was a terrifying morning for a hiker in Salt Lake, when she said her dog was snatched right in front of her by a coyote as they were hiking a popular trail.
They tracked the coyote for six hours and were able to eventually find their 13-year-old Jack Russell Terrier's remains. The only thing they were able to recover was a sweater the dog was wearing, according to Teri Mallard, the dog's owner.
"She was so excited this morning," she said. "All of the sudden, I heard her screaming and I look up and an animal was dragging her off. And I took off running and I'm running as fast as I can, and I'm yelling at her, ‘Scout! Scout!'"
She believes it was a coyote lurking near the popular trail she and her dogs frequently hike on Ensign Peak. In single-degree temperatures, barely daylight, she followed the tracks for more than an hour before she got too cold and went back home for help.
I'm running as fast as I can, and I'm yelling at her, 'Scout! Scout!'
She came back with her husband to continue searching. They looked high and low for six hours, crossing multiple ridgelines, and eventually found exactly what they feared.
"We go up there all the time, and sometimes I'll hear coyotes howling and stuff, but I've never seen any … I finally found Scout's little sweater, and I knew she was gone."
While the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was not made aware of this particular incident, they did say coyote sightings are on the rise in Salt Lake County. And reports suggest they are becoming more bold, leaving Mallard to offer a warning to those hiking with their pets.
"I want people to be aware of that, so that they don't lose their animals like I lost mine," she said. Keep ‘em close to you and be prepared."
The DWR said Ensign Peak is an on-leash area, and a leash, which Scout did not have, is a great way to protect your dogs out hiking.