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Wauwatosa woman and dogs chased by coyotes during walk in the woods

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58)- A Wauwatosa woman says she's still shaken up after she and two larger dogs were chased out of Sanctuary Woods by coyotes about a week ago.

One of the dogs, her daughter's Golden Retriever, was bit on the leg and is still recovering.

The DNR says Sanctuary Woods is definitely active coyote territory. Temporary signs can now be seen at Sanctuary Woods warning people of coyotes in the area.

Monica Hebl was walking in the woods with two Golden Retrievers around 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. All of a sudden she heard her daughter's dog 'Ducky' yelp.

"She came running over and the coyotes came with her, and it seemed like there were maybe four, for sure there were two," said Hebl.

Hebl started screaming to scare them off, and ran out of the woods with the dogs. At times the coyotes got ahead of her, but didn't follow her out of the woods. 

"I just want to get the word out that the coyotes are not necessarily afraid of people or dogs," said Hebl.

Hebl says Ducky is healing well after suffering a puncture wound from the coyote bite.

DNR wildlife expert, Dianne Robinson, says it's common for coyotes to follow.

"That's especially common if someone has a dog,” said Robinson. “Whether it's on leash or off leash, they see that dog as another canine."

Robinson says there's not an increase in coyote population in Milwaukee County, but over the years the coyotes are getting more comfortable around people.

"As coyotes become more comfortable with people, more comfortable with pets in their area, they are a little bit more willing to be seen," adds Robinson.

Coyotes are also in West Allis. Since spring, the mayor has received a dozen reports of coyotes in the city, mainly on the west end. He's now holding an urban coyote informational meeting next Tuesday.

"I would encourage people to keep mentioning what they see and keep the neighbors informed, and you know, be vigilant," said West Allis mayor, Dan Devine.

The informational meeting will be held August 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the West Allis Police Department courtroom, located at 11301 W. Lincoln Ave.

Robinson says people who see coyotes should make as much noise and movement as possible to scare them away. She says coyote sightings should be reported to Milwaukee County through this link.

The UW Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology has created an informative video that explains how to haze a coyote away. You can view that video by clicking here.

For more information on urban coyotes, you can visit the Wisconsin DNR's website located here.

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