© Bev McMullenLori Kennedy and her Alapaha Blue Blood bulldog attended the Dockside Festival on Sunday, Aug. 17 in Gravenhurst. In July, Kennedy was attacked by a coyote which was eventually chased away by the dog.
It was a horrifying ordeal.

"Everybody has been walking around with baseball bats," said Lori Kennedy of the effect a vicious attack has had on the local community.

On July 19, Kennedy was walking her two 100-pound bulldogs in front of her home on Fleming Drive in Kilworthy around 4 p.m. when a wild dog, likely a coyote or coywolf - a coyote-wolf hybrid - emerged from between two houses and began following them.

"I thought it was one of my neighbours' dogs so at first I ignored it, but then before I had a chance to think it attacked," she said.

Kennedy said the animal attacked her female bulldog, which due to abuse as a pup has brain damage and was the weakest of the three victims.

"Of all the dogs that this could have happened to it had to be her. As if she hasn't been through enough," said Kennedy, who adopted the now five-year-old bulldog at the age of seven weeks after she was left injured in a dumpster.

Still thinking she was dealing with a domestic dog, Kennedy said she began to wrestle it, trying to get it to release its bite on her pet.

"I got it to release three times and it just kept going back at her," she described. "Finally I had it in a head lock. It turned toward me and I saw its teeth and thought this is not a dog."

Kennedy said her male dog eventually broke free of his collar, chasing their attacker into the woods.

"He came back about five minutes later," she said of her Alapaha blue blood bulldog. "For all I know he could have killed it, but I wasn't going to find out."

According to Kennedy her female American bulldog was bleeding for hours from a torn ear and multiple puncture wounds. The bulldog also had short-term vision loss from a tooth hitting her in the eye.

As nurses, Kennedy and her neighbour were able to bandage up the bleeding dog, which was then seen by a veterinarian.

Kennedy said she was covered in scratches and tooth drags and her male dog had puncture wounds on his ear.

Following the incident Kennedy said she called the non-urgent OPP line and made a report, as well as calling the MNR and SPCA. But she said she was unclear who she should be reporting the incident to.

"It was frustrating because we didn't know if we contacted the right person," she said.

Kennedy said it was a neighbour who put letters in each mailbox in the area to warn the residents.

"We have older dogs and kids in this neighbourhood. If it would attack me and my dogs, would it attack a child?"

A neighbour had also made a report to the MNR just two days prior to the attack on Kennedy after her cat was taken from her property presumably by the same animal.

"It took the cat from the front step where it was on a leash right in broad daylight in front of her kids," Kennedy said, noting no one has seen the animal in recent weeks.

"It was really scary," she said. "The neighbours have all been living in fear."

Kennedy said there was an assumption the animal had rabies because the attack seemed out of character for a coyote, but she said her veterinarian said coywolves are more "brazen" than coyotes leading her to believe the wild dog was actually a hybrid or possibly a coyote infected with distemper.

Kennedy's dogs were already up-to-date on inoculations but were put in quarantine by the health unit and she was required to undergo a series of rabies vaccines as a precaution, which left her with flu symptoms.

"The next time I wrestle Muskoka wildlife I will take my chances with the rabies," she said jokingly of the series of shots. "It was like someone poured acid in all of my joints. I was aching everywhere."

Even though the entire ordeal was traumatizing to both Kennedy and her dogs, she said she tries to see the humour in the shocking and somewhat unbelievable incident.

"I made the mistake of telling this story at work and now they're all calling me coyote queen," she said with a laugh.