A Coombs resident says a close encounter with the wolf-dog has left her with mixed feelings after her horses were spooked on trails near the Alberni highway.
Catlin Landriault says she was out for a ride with her two horses when one horse was suddenly spooked.
“I was out riding quite far into the trail system when I came to a fork in the trail,” she says. “I was about 10 feet in when my horse Kheyote was spooked.
“When I turned around it [the wolf dog] was five feet behind me.”
Landriault calls the situation scary because she was unsure of the intention, or if her horses were stalked by the wolf-dog but says she tried everything to get the animal to leave.
“I started waving my arms in the air, as well as screaming at it to leave,” she says. “It just did not move at all, but it also didn’t pose a threat, so I just sat there and waited.”
The wolf-dog has so far been blamed for killing several animals over the past few months in the region, including one at Coombs Country Campground, and Landriault says while she has mixed feelings about the dog, she worries it could be changing tactics to satisfy its hunger.
“I find the proximity, and how it all happened unnerving,” she says. “I am concerned his prey tactics are changing, that he is hungry enough to consider attacking.”
The attacks have left many residents frustrated and concerned for the safety of their pets, farm animals, and children, and Landriault says no one wants to deal with it.
“Conservation doesn’t want to deal with it,” she says. “The SPCA has set a trap for it, but the trap is way too small for an animal of this size. There is no resolve.”
The BC SPCA said in a release last month they have no legal authority within the RDN to apprehend the animal, and will only intervene in animal welfare cases.