SURPRISE, Arizona — After a series of coyote attacks, neighbors in Surprise are looking for new ways to protect their pets. Millie and Rich Amburgy, along with some of their neighbors, are turning to a product called the CoyoteVest.
The bright Kevlar vest comes with Velcro strips that owners can use to attach spikes and tall pink “whiskers,” which are designed to ward off an attack.
“The looks of it doesn’t concern me. Protecting my dog does,” Rich Amburgy said.
Amburgy’s Havanese pups nearly fell victim to a coyote a few months ago, and several coyotes have wandered onto the family’s back patio, looking for prey.
“Nine dogs have been killed [in the neighborhood] since January,” Amburgy said.
His wife, Millie, was walking their dogs, Sasha and Sophie, when a coyote appeared from behind a parked car.
“I picked both up and started screaming,” she said.
One of the dogs got loose and chased the coyote.
“The coyote was trying to lure the dog away, knowing the dog’s instinct was to chase it,” Amburgy said.
Luckily, they were able to catch the dog before she reached the coyote that was waiting behind a neighboring home.
“After that incident, I started looking for something like this vest,” Amburgy said.
“I feel much safer having them. The Kevlar is very hard to puncture,” Millie said.
The vests, available at CoyoteVest.com, start at $70. Right now the vests are only available in one size. According to the website, they fit most dogs that weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. There is an online video to help you measure for correct sizing.
The whiskers and spikes, including electrified zapping spikes, are add-ons that start at $20.
They are not guaranteed to prevent an attack.
“Still, I think a coyote or bird of prey would feel the spikes,” Millie said.
The company, based in San Diego, was founded after the owners, Paul and Pam Mott, lost a dog to a coyote.
A representative for the company said the vests have become popular in Phoenix, Surprise, and Tucson.