KATY, Texas -- Lucy, a 3-year-old miniature Schnauzer, is lucky to be alive after a pre-dawn encounter with a coyote.
The incident happened when the Cannon family let Lucy out into the fenced-in backyard overnight Monday morning.
Her owner said she had a stomach problem and refused to come back inside.
A few minutes later, Simone Cannon said she heard a high-pitched scream.
"I ran outside, and I saw something scale over the fence, and Lucy came running to me," Simone said. "I took her inside and tried to dry her off, and she had blood on her neck."
What scaled the fence, Cannon realized, was a coyote that had gotten into the 6-foot-tall fenced backyard the same way.
Lucy required a trip to an animal ER and there were deep puncture marks on the front of her neck.
"The vet told me that if the coyote had her a few seconds longer she would be dead," Cannon said.
Her intervention made the coyote drop the small dog.
Coyotes are native to Texas, and loss of habitat has brought them into populated areas like Cannon's subdivision.
"I didn't think they could jump tall fences, but I was wrong," Cannon said. "And I want people to know that even with a fence, they can get in if they want to."
From now on, she said Lucy won't be outside without a family escort.
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Coyote scales 6-foot-tall fence before attacking dog