Animal gave chase as a resident and her terrier fled, biting the small dog several times

By Gary Walker

Tessa the dog is recovering from her encounter with a coyote in Playa del Rey

Tessa the dog is recovering from her encounter with a coyote in Playa del Rey

A coyote attacked a small dog out for a walk with its owner early Thursday morning in Playa del Rey, pursuing the terrier and biting it several times as it fled alongside the woman back to her house.

Cindy Curphey said she was walking her cairn terrier (the same breed as Toto from “The Wizard of Oz”) along Hulbert Avenue near 80th Street when the coyote sprinted out from bushes and attacked 11-pound Tessa.

“I was running as fast as I could and yelling as loud as I could,” she said.

Curphey, who lives on 80th Street, said the coyote gave chase until she reached home and was able to slam a gate behind her and the dog, leaving the animal about four feet away on her driveway.

The dog was treated for a puncture wound and received several stitches but is expected to recover, Curphey said.

“To have them waking around the neighborhood like this … this could have been someone’s child,” she said.

The California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident, said state wildlife warden Lt. Ron Hoffman.

“If there is an attack on a human or even a threat, then we immediately deploy someone to investigate,” Hoffman said.

Officials recommend that people use leashes during walks and not leave their pets unattended outside in areas where coyotes may be present.

This morning apparently wasn’t the first report of a coyote in the neighborhood.

“My husband saw a big coyote coming up 80th just last week in the middle of the street. Watch your dogs, cats, all animals and small children. These guys are hungry,” one resident posted Monday to the Google Group Playa del Rey Neighbors.

“It’s common knowledge that there are coyotes living in the bluffs,” Curphey said. “Several people [said they] have seen them walking along the streets recently.”