CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield family is heartbroken after they say a coyote killed their family dog.
It happened off of Farnham Drive near the Stonehenge Golf Club early Thursday morning, according to the Driscoll family.
Richard Driscoll said since the killing, he’s learning these types of killings happen much more often than he previously thought.
Polar, 14, died doing what she loved — exploring.
“She’s just a great dog, truly a part of the family,” Driscoll said.
On Thursday morning around 6:30, the Chesterfield man said he left Polar outside alone for about five minutes while he prepared her breakfast.
“I finished fixing the food and I didn’t see her,” he said. “I just knew something had happened right away.”
Driscoll and a friend searched the open land around his home for about an hour and a half. Around 8 a.m., they found Polar’s body about 75 yards behind his house.
The mini schnauzer was tucked away behind a tree and buried under a pile of leaves. He said the bite marks and how she was left indicate a coyote kill. Coyotes sometimes bury their prey and come back to it later.
“It’s devastating just knowing how scared she would have been,” he said. “It’s a huge part of your life that’s gone.”
Driscoll, his wife and son are grieving. “The house feels empty. It really does.”
According to the Department of Wildlife, coyotes live in every corner of Virginia — in urban, suburban and rural areas.
“At first it does seem like something rare, but [since] the outpouring from the community, I’ve learned that it’s not rare,” Driscoll said.
Just earlier this month in busy, bustling Carytown, a coyote was spotted hiding underneath a car in broad daylight.
Driscoll said this heartbreak can serve as a reminder to other pet owners. “I think you just have to be vigilant. Never assume that they’re safe.”
After Polar went missing, the family asked for the community’s help on the Nextdoor cell phone app.
Dozens of people replied back offering support. The Driscoll family wants to thank those members of the community for their support.