Pet attacked by wild animal on morning walk

by Wes Mayer

A Coweta County woman is still in shock after what she described as a large, black and shiny cat-like animal attacked her Miniature Pinscher Tuesday morning, carried it into the woods, and most likely killed it.

“It happened so fast,” said Josephine Young, the nearly 8-year-old dog’s owner. “I mean, that’s my baby.”

“By the time I got home, I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” she said. “I couldn’t even see, my blood pressure was so high.”

Young said she was out around 6:30 a.m. walking her 5-pound Min-Pin, named Max, like usual on a trail off Timberland Trail, which is located off Smokey Road. At one point during their daily morning walk, Max ran away from her down the trail, so Young told him to stop. Max stopped, but that was when she heard a loud, strange noise.

“I can’t even describe the scream,” Young said. “It was shrill and sharp – like a child that had been hurt. It makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck when you hear it.”

After this, the animal lunged out of the woods and attacked Max, hitting him in the back hip. Max was able to get away and run toward her, but the animal leapt through the air and landed on top of the dog, grabbed him and carried him into the woods. Young heard Max scream three times, then was silent.

Young has not been able to find her dog. They have found large footprints – larger than any dog’s – but no blood or other evidence. They also found a tree with some bark missing, so Young thinks the animal may have carried Max up a tree. She said she did not see it because the woods are very thick along the trail, but it sounded like something climbed a tree.

Coweta County Animal Control was called to the scene, which also called the game warden with the Department of Natural Resources, and they told Young it was likely a coyote.

Authorities with county animal control declined to comment. Young is adamant it wasn’t a coyote.

“I know it was solid black, it was shiny, and it had a long tail,” she said. “It was not a coyote. It was a black cat.”

Young said she could tell the difference because this animal was not as tall as a coyote – it was only 18 to 20 inches tall. It was, however, very long – nearly 5 to 6 feet, including the tail.

Now, Young is worried about her neighbors’ small children and pets. Many of her neighbors’ children often play outside, and their pets are regularly let loose outside to run around.

“This thing tasted blood once,” she said. “What’s to say it won’t go after a small child? If it can get a dog, I’m sure it could get a small child.”

Young said she and her husband, who was also distraught by the attack, looked for Max all day, but only found the large footprints.

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