Five Ways to Keep Your Dogs Safe from Coyotes

coyote in arizona

by Nicole Pajer

There seems to be an increasing amount of stories about dogs being attacked by coyotes these days, and not just in rural areas. As humans have continued to develop land, coyotes have been forced into urban areas and are becoming less fearful of humans. Several years ago, a coyote even entered a downtown Chicago Quiznos sandwich shop and hopped behind the counter!

According to the DFW Wildlife Coalition, coyotes are living and thriving in nearly every city across the United States. While they rarely bother humans, coyotes are a threat to domestic dogs, especially smaller breeds like Chihuahuas and toy varieties. Coyotes primarily feed on small rodents such as rabbits, but will definitely go after a small dog if given the chance.

Here are some tips on keeping your pet safe from coyotes:

  1. Be particularly cautious during coyote mating season, which is January through March. During this time, coyotes travel long distances to find suitable mates and require extra calories to carry them on their journey. They then expend extra energy to build dens for pregnant females, who will need to stock up on additional meals. Studies show that coyotes are particularly aggressive during this time.
  2. Keep an eye on your dog when outside. A small dog left unattended in a backyard is an easy target for a coyote. The best way to protect your dog is to go outside with it when you let it out. While a coyote will go after a dog, they tend to shy away from humans. If you come into contact with a coyote, it’s suggested that you wave your arms, shout, and do anything you can to scare it away, such as spray it with a water hose.
  3. If you have a fence, make sure it’s coyote-proof. According to an article by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources department, a fence won’t always keep a coyote out. Coyotes can jump over fences and have the ability to dig under a fence or slide through a fence gap. While it’s tough to build a fully coyote-proof gate, fences should be a minimum of 5.5 feet high and should be built on a sloping terrain. To defer a coyote from climbing, fences should not exceed 6 inches between stays. In addition, a galvanized wire-mesh apron can be buried beneath a fence to hinder a coyote from digging under. An additional way to ensure that a coyote won’t leap your fence is to install a coyote roller, which rolls off an animal that tries to climb the fence.
  4. Keep coyotes wild: Do your part to make sure that coyotes remain fearful of humans. Don’t feed coyotes or leave food out for them. This will cause them to come back to your area and to become accustomed to humans. Don’t put your trash out at night, as coyotes tend to be most active in the evenings and early mornings. Also make sure to securely seal the lids of your garage cans so that coyotes don’t smell food and come into suburban areas.
  5. Keep your dog on a leash when walking it outside: A dog running loose will attract a wandering coyote. Keeping your dog on a short leash when walking, especially through areas where coyotes tend to thrive, will help to ensure its safety.

As coyotes are moving into urban areas, attacks on domestic dogs are on the rise. A study conducted by a the Cook County, Illinois Coyote Project found that 60% of recent attacks were on smaller breeds such as Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus and Jack Russells.

While tinier breeds are the preferred targets, coyotes have also been known to attack larger breeds, such as Labradors and German shepherds, especially if traveling in a pack. This past January, a pack of three coyotes went after a Chicago area man’s German shepherd puppy, beagle, and golden retriever. The pack chased the dogs through the woods, leapt over the owner’s backyard fence, and even broke the glass on the door of the house trying to get at the dogs.

Keep your pets safe by taking the above precautions to avoid coming into contact with coyotes and other wildlife.

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Turn In Your Unused or Expired Medication For Safe Disposal


Current Prescription Take Back Event:

October 26, 2013
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Locations: Walmart of Bedford and Kroger of Forest
Please see our Event Calendar for maps and more information.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) schedules a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.

In the five previous Take-Back events, DEA in conjunction with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications were removed from circulation.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.

Road Closure Notice: Route 684 Penicks Mill Road


road closed

Beginning Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 a section of Route 684 (Penicks Mill Road) in Bedford County will be closed to replace the bridge over Camp Creek.

The road will be closed between Route 685 (Breezy Ridge Road) and Route 688 (Buffalo Run) in the Thaxton area of Bedford County.

Detour signs will be in place to direct traffic.

Weather permitting, the road will reopen on Friday, October 11.


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CAPTURED UPDATE – Bedford County’s Most Wanted Michael Kidd

michael kidd

Michael Kidd

On May 5, 2013, Michael Wayne Kidd, age 45, 1012 Greenland Drive, Bedford Virginia was arrested in San Diego, California for crossing the street against a traffic light. After arresting Kidd, the San Diego police learned that he was wanted in Bedford County, Virginia for one count of grand larceny, one count of fraud by credit card and six counts of theft of credit cards.

On Wednesday July 31, 2013, Kidd was returned to Bedford and is being held in the Bedford Adult Detention Center on no bond.

Michael Hollifield-captured

Michael Hollifield


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No Criminal Charges Placed in Possible Explosion in Montvale

SEPTEMBER 24, 2013

On Sunday September 22, 2013 at 4:30 p.m., Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call reporting a possible explosion in the area of Gross Hollow Road in Montvale. Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies and the Montvale Fire Department responded to 1139 Gross Hollow Road.

Deputies spoke to Joseph Mitchell, the property owner. Mitchell advised that he along with several other people were target practicing with a rifle. He said he had placed approximately five pound of tannerite compound in his inoperable 1993 Honda Accord. The Accord has sitting in the middle of a large field on his property. (Tannerite is a compound used in explosive targets). When the bullet struck the vehicle it detonated the tannerite causing the vehicle to explode. The explosion caused extensive damage to the vehicle.

No one was injured in this incident. No criminal charges have been placed, however the investigation of the incident continues.

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Help the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office Find This Criminal!

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013

At 10:43 a.m. today , Bob Terry, owner of Terry’s Country Store, called the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and advised that a white male entered his store and asked to see the pocket knives. When Terry removed them from the case the suspect left the store. He then returned and grabbed several knives and left. Terry stated the suspect got into a dark colored 90’s model Jeep Cherokee being operated by a white female. The suspect is described as a white male, 6 foot tall, 220 pounds and wearing a blue shirt.



Anyone with information on this crime is asked to the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-586-7827 or Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. Crime Stoppers callers remain anonymous and could receive a reward up to $1,000.00 in cash. Alternatively you may submit your crime tip through the BCSO Website.

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Jefferson Forest Student Arrested For Making Bomb Threat

AUGUST 30, 2013

On Friday afternoon, Bedford County school resource officers arrested a Jefferson Forest student for making the bomb threat at the school on Thursday. The student was taken into custody and is being held at the Lynchburg Detention Home.


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Thaxton Man Arrested and Charged with Possessing and Reproducing Child Pornography

AUGUST 30, 2013

Bedford, VA – On August 29, 2013, David Seabolt, of Thaxton, VA, was arrested and charged with 20 felony counts of possessing and reproducing child pornography, in violation of the Code of Virginia 18.2-374.1:1. He is being held in the Bedford Adult Detention Center on no bond.




In July 2013, investigators with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, assigned to the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (SOVA ICAC), assisted the Town of Bedford Police Department, also a member of the SOVA ICAC Task Force, with a citizen’s complaint of possible child pornography.

The investigation led to Seabolt as a person of interest, and a subsequent search warrant was executed at his residence. Further evidence was recovered, that led to the arrest of Seabolt for child pornography violations.

If anyone has any additional information involving this case, please contact the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-586-7628.

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Bomb Threat at Jefferson Forest High School

AUGUST 29, 2013

Forest, VA – This morning at 11:11am a student reported to a teacher that there was a threat written on a wall in the boys’ restroom. The School Administration and the School Resource Officer were immediately made aware of the threat.

The school was evacuated and then searched by law enforcement personnel and explosive K-9s from multiple jurisdictions. The students were dismissed early from school.

There were no injuries. The building has been deemed safe and the school will reopen on the normal daily schedule tomorrow, 8/30/2013.

This investigation continues.

Contact Sgt. David Mays
Community Service Division 540-5486-7718

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Four Local Schools Put on Lockdown After Report That A Student Had Been Assaulted

AUGUST 27, 2013

At approximately 0940 the Bedford Co. Sheriff’s Office received a report that a student had been assaulted with a weapon by a black male in his 30’s wearing a grey ‘hoodie’ and black pants in the Forest area in the general proximity of Jefferson Forest High School.

At approximately 0945 Jefferson Forest High School, Forest Elem., Forest Middle, and Thomas Jefferson Elem. were placed into a level one lock down due to the suspect was on foot.  The lock down was lifted approx. 1202 hrs as the incident could not be substantiated.

At no time were any of the students in immediate danger and deputies remained on the scene until the lock-down was lifted. The investigation is continuing .


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