Sanford couple heartbroken after camera shows their dog attacked by coyote

Couple is warning pet owners with cats and dogs to be on alert for coyotes

SANFORD, Fla. – A Sanford family is heartbroken after they say a coyote killed their dog.

The couple said Rusty was attacked near the Sylvan Reserve area in Sanford on Tuesday.

Bill Delaporte said he let his Jack Russell Terrier mix out around 5:30 a.m and stepped back in the house. A few minutes later he returned and the dog his family adored for nearly 10 years was nowhere to be found.

Interactive map: Find the coyote sightings in your Florida neighborhood

“I started calling him and I went walking, and I walked back over there and I saw the tracks in the sand,” he said.

The retired Seminole County veterinarian said he spotted some fresh tracks in the sand and followed the trail of coyote tracks. Fearful a coyote may have attacked Rusty, he said he rushed to check his motion camera mounted on a tree in his backyard.

“When I got all the way back down there and I saw the tracks were headed this way and I said whatever went in front of this camera, it was captured,” he said.

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Delaporte said when he reviewed the still images captured on his motion camera he spotted the still image showing two coyotes, with one latching onto Rusty’s neck.

“So we’re so sad, we rescued him like nine years ago, he was the smartest most loving little dog.”

Delaporte and his wife are heartbroken over the loss of Rusty and say they reported the incident to the Florida Fish and Wildlife. He is also warning pet owners with cats and dogs to be on alert for coyotes.

About the Author:

Nicky Zizaza is an Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 6 nightside team in December 2018. She is originally from Rwanda and she started her journalism career in the nation's capital.