The hapless Wile E. Coyote can’t capture the Road Runner, can’t protect himself from falling rocks with a tiny parasol and can’t keep from falling off a cliff. We like him. Not so much the wily coyote who is among the most fearsome predators in the US. That coyote is crafty and cunning. His ability to adapt to any environment has taken him from his origins in the prairies and deserts of the Southwest to new environments across the country: rural, suburban and urban. In densely populated areas, such as Chicago, New York and San Francisco, he prowls at night and, with piercing vision and astute sense of smell, he tracks down and kills household pets.
Paul and Pamela Mott of San Diego, CA, had the horrific experience of seeing their little dog Buffy captured, killed and carried away by a coyote in broad daylight. They were getting ready to leave a dog park, only feet away from Buffy. It happened so fast they were helpless. Coyotes are known for being afraid of humans. Not that coyote, not that day.
Paul and Pamela wanted to protect their other dogs, and all dogs for that matter, not only from coyotes, but also from aggressive dogs and birds of prey. Paul got right to it. He read academic papers and scientific studies, received input from veterinarians and biologists, and pored over hundreds of photos of dogs who were victims of coyotes. He even bought a coyote skull! Once he had a design and a plan, he, Paula and Nicole Mellom founded CoyoteVest Pet Body Armor with a dual mission: (1) to slow down or prevent a surprise attack to give you time to rescue your pet and (2) to protect the dog without injuring the coyote.
The CoyoteVest is made from waterproof, stab-resistant DuPont Kevlar (same fabric used in bulletproof vests worn by police officers) with an adjustable belt and collar and a full set of removable “chrome” one-inch spikes. The spikes are indeed menacing, but they are made of plastic, hard enough to deter a coyote but not sharp enough to actually injure him. A D-ring allows you to connect a leash to the vest. It’s made for you to be able to put it on and take it off your dog easily, and it is so lightweight and comfortable that your dog doesn’t mind and his movement in not inhibited. There are five sizes ranging from mini to large.
Paul, Pamela and Nicole did not stop there. They now have an inventory of products to keep your pet safe, including:
These brightly colored, lightweight nylon bristles attach to the top of the vest with Velcro. They may repel a coyote by irritating his eyes or mouth, but their main purposes are to occupy the space where a coyote is likely to grab the dog and act as a disguise. Users have attested to seeing a coyote approach, stop in his tracks, and walk away. Looks like he’s never seen that species of animal and isn’t going to risk an attack.
The shield is protection from a bird of prey. It is made of three layers of Kevlar and attaches to the back of the CoyoteVest with Velcro. The bird uses his sharp talons to grab onto the dog, lift it and fly away. When your dog is wearing the HawkShield, the bird grabs onto it instead. The shield releases and the bird flies off with it while your dog escapes.
- SpikeVest for Cats
While the CoyoteVest will protect any animal that it fits, there is a special product for our feline friends. Made from tough, puncture-resistant Cordura fabric, this vest covers a cat’s back and neck with the same fierce-looking shiny spikes as the CoyoteVest. You can also add on the CoyoteWhiskers or the HawkShield. You can keep your cat safe by simply wrapping him up in the vest and securing it with the two wide Velcro belts provided. A word of warning here: Do not leave the cat unattended while he is wearing the SpikeVest.
The American Kennel Club recommends CoyoteVest as a form of protection against predators. See their website for more suggestions on how to keep your pets safe.