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Dog on the mend after apparent coyote attack

Freddie, a miniature pinscher, lives in Lincoln Crossings
By: Patty McAlpin Lincoln News Messenger Correspondent
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Freddie, a miniature pinscher, is home safe recovering from what appears to have been a coyote attack. ?It?s been a week,? said Joanna Riley, Freddie?s owner.? He?s really healed up. He?s so much better. But he?s not back to himself. He?ll need time. The vet is impressed he?s improved that much.? Riley said 4-year-old Freddie was nowhere to be found after Riley returned from a half-hour trip to Target at sundown on July 7. She found her other two dogs, Jasper and Abby, in her home?s front yard and a hole Jasper the terrier dug under her backyard fence on Stoney Cross Lane in Lincoln Crossings. She and her husband, Tim Riley, heard someone a few blocks away setting off illegal fireworks at that time. ?It was the perfect storm,? Riley said. ?Freddie must have taken off when he heard the fireworks.? The couple both drove and walked around the neighborhood and to the beginning of each nearby trail calling his name but to no avail. ?I prayed, ?Lord please take care of him,?? Riley said. Her prayers were answered at 1 p.m. Sunday. Riley and her son, Brooks, looked for Freddie on their bikes. Her 18-year-old son found Freddie along the creek in between the two Brentford Circle Drive bridges. ?He?d been beat up and could hardly walk. He had rips in both sides and under his neck,? Riley said. ?At first, I thought he?d been hit by a car. I tried to pick him up and he cried.? Riley put her dog in her bicycle basket. She thought Freddie?s ribs were broken. Dr. Anna Ziedins of Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital operated on Freddie mid-day Monday. Riley said the veterinarian told her Freddie ?had been attacked by a coyote because of the way Freddie was picked up by the neck and shaken for the kill.? A trapper said the coyote may have been startled and ran off,? according to Riley, and she was advised ?to tell neighbors who walk dogs in the area to keep them on a leash.? Riley said Freddie?s veterinary bills total $3,400. A pay pal button is available on the Good Neighbors of Lincoln Facebook page for anyone who would like to help. ?What?s unusual is the dog survived,? Placer County Agricultural Commissioner Josh Huntsinger said. ?I get mostly reports of animals either being dragged off or never found. People will say their dog and cat disappeared and they don?t know what happened. Several people have been traumatized seeing a coyote take their animal off into the night. I talked to one woman who had a hawk take her small dog.? Huntsinger said coyotes are common, especially in western Placer County. ?We have coyote activity in the Lincoln area,? Huntsinger said. ?Most of the residential neighborhoods are built around some really nice greenbelts. Lincoln Crossing is a wild and urban interface. Pets make really good meals for coyotes.? ?Keep your animals in,? Huntsinger said. ?When walking, it?s best to keep dogs on leashes. Coyotes are pretty good at luring dogs into the brush where they have three to four friends ready to pounce. It?s a cold cruel world for a little dog at night.? Sun City Lincoln Hills Community Association membership receptionist Bertha Mendez said she usually gets a couple of calls a week about coyotes but hasn?t had any in the last few weeks. ?Maintenance has put up signs on trails warning residents to beware of coyotes and mountain lions,? Mendez said. Lincoln Interim Police Chief Paul Shelgren said the police department gets occasional calls about coyotes. ?Lincoln is rural and has open spaces,? Shelgren said. ?There are a lot of open spaces and green areas around the Crossings. There are coyotes, skunks, possums, raccoons, deer and the occasional mountain lion. There are all kinds of wildlife looking for a food source like a small dog.? Tim Riley says one of the main reasons Freddie survived is because of his wife Joanna ?as his mom.? ?He?s bonded to my wife,? Tim Riley said. ?He?s been with us since ?05 or ?06. I really believe one of his strongest instincts to survive was to get back to Joanna.?