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Family dog found alive after video shows coyote snatching it from Mendon backyard

A Mendon family’s dog made a miraculous escape after being attacked by a coyote Sunday morning and carried off to a nearby porch.

Dannielle Byrne said it happened around 4:30 a.m., after her two dogs, Brodie and Cece, woke her up barking. She let them out in the yard. Suddenly she heard one of the dogs yelp. She looked outside and saw a flash of white go into the woods.

And just like that, Brodie, her 3-year-old Shih Tzu, was gone.

Coyote grabs Mendon dog
Coyote snatches Mendon dog and dashes off into the woods. The dog was later found on a neighbor's porch. (Video: Dannielle Byrne)

Byrne woke up her husband, who then watched the backyard surveillance video to see what happened. “I couldn’t watch it,” she said. The black and white footage showed a coyote chasing the dogs around. Then it snatched Brodie in its jaws and ran off. The footage shows the coyote sprinting toward trees with Brodie dangling from its mouth.

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Byrne and her husband and son searched the area, but found no sign of Brodie. Faced with the grim reality that their 13-pound pet had been carried off, Byrne and her husband knew there was little likelihood of the dog’s survival. The family was heartbroken.

And then around 8 a.m., they got a phone call from the police department. The police wanted to know if they had lost their dog. Byrne explained what happened, and said they assumed Brodie was dead.

But it turned out Brodie had been found, and she was alive. She had turned up on a neighbor’s porch. They took her to the vet and other than a few bite wounds, “she was fine,” said Byrne. The dog was given rabies shots and has been recovering at home.

“She’s being timid, and just wants to be by my side now," said Byrne. Otherwise, "she’s doing great.”

Byrne said they have an invisible fence around their yard, and she thinks that may have saved Brodie’s life. The coyote probably got shocked through Brodie’s collar as it was carrying the dog away, she said, and opened its mouth just enough to drop Brodie.

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Byrne said she wants to share her story to let other people know to take precautions to keep their pets safe. When she let her dogs out Sunday morning, she had no idea there was a predator lurking nearby.

“We’ve never seen a coyote in our backyard, ever,” Byrne said.




Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.