Woman attacked by coyote while walking her dog

A woman is recovering after she says she was attacked by a coyote behind her home over the weekend. (WCAX)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 10:27 AM EDT
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PANTON, Vt. (WCAX/Gray News) - A woman is recovering after she said she was attacked by a coyote behind her home over the weekend.

“After the adrenaline rush wears off, you’re just left in disbelief and shock,” said Jessica Devoid.

Devoid told WCAX about the encounter she had as she was walking near her home in Panton, Vermont, with her 8-month-old puppy.

“I look up and I saw this dog running across the field, and when I didn’t see a person, it clicked in my head that it wasn’t anybody’s dog, it was a wild dog, a coyote,” she said.

Devoid said she tried not to panic but before she could get away, the coyote went after her dog. She said she tried to fend it off.

“I knew that I couldn’t watch my dog be ripped to shreds,” she said. “And I knew that everything I had seen on any television show or read in any book had said to be big and scary and fight - and I did.”

The coyote then turned on her.

“At one point it did jump up and try to bite me, either on the neck or the face, and it made contact on my face and the bottom teeth broke skin right here,” she said.

Game Warden Lt. Trevor Szymanowski with the Vermont Parks and Wildlife said interactions like this are not common. Since 1991, he says there have only been four prior coyote attacks, one of which involved a rabid animal.

“It’s very likely that it was a female that had young in the area. It is that time of the year where essentially everything has babies, and they’re defensive,” he said.

Authorities were unable to locate the coyote but did praise Devoid for doing all the right things during the attack.

“Maintaining a low voice, a calm voice, but being loud and being big,” said Game Warden Wesley Butler, who responded to the incident. “While I would never tell somebody to approach a wild animal to strike them, if an animal is coming towards you and you are going to strike them, that’s a better-case scenario than letting them lunge onto your torso.”

Devoid says she has seen a doctor and is receiving treatment for rabies as a precaution.

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