A family from Scripps Ranch, California, who lost their dog in a coyote attack have developed a vest that they hope will prevent similar occurrences. Paul and Pamela Mott now equip their three dogs with what they call the CoyoteVest. Paul Mott developed the vest after his dog Buffy was killed by a coyote.
"I just heard a yelp and I turned around and I saw her in the mouth of a coyote," he said.
Mott felt guilty and angry, and then he went to work making sure it never happened again.
"What would it take to make my dog be able to withstand a coyote attack?" he said.
He and his wife worked through a few designs that ended with the CoyoteVest.
It has plastic spikes around the collar, spikes down the length of the torso and long plastic quills shooting up along the centre from the neck to the rump.
Mott said it would deter any animal from biting into his dogs.
"I just want to save my dogs, and then I realised maybe this invention can save someone else's dog," he said.
So the Motts went into business with Pamela's daughter, Nicole. They sold 120 of the vests out of their Scripps Ranch home. This week, they met with a manufacturer to keep up with demand.
"I just know that that coyote is not going to be able to kill my dog instantly. I'll have a chance to go intervene," said Mott.
He said he realised he could just keep his dogs at home, locked inside, but he said, "[But] I'm not going to stay at home and be terrified."
A more elaborate CoyoteVest also contains a remote system that can shock a coyote if it won't release the dog. The dog's owner has a remote he or she could press to activate the electric pulse that runs through the metal fibres imbedded in the fabric.