Toto returns home after vicious attack

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JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) - It was one pet owner's worst nightmare.

A Jefferson City woman watched as her beloved dog was pulled away by a wild animal.

Ms. Collins didn't know if she would ever hear Toto's bark again.

"I was hysterical, I was panicking, I was just praying, and I was panicking," said Collins.

She says Toto was next to her mail box, when an animal picked him up and ran into the woods.

An hour later she found him badly hurt, bleeding in the driveway, and rushed him to the animal hospital.

"He had several deep lacerations on his sides, on his chest, around his flanks. Most of the trauma was on his upper body, his shoulders, on the top of his head," said Dr. Carrie Ealy, a veterinarian. "The gash that was on the right side of his neck, right underneath, when I opened it up to assess the wound, the jugular vein was right there."

It's not surprising to hear about dog on dog attacks, but based on the description of the animal and its behavior, Dr. Ealy suspects this attack could be a coyote.

The animal is not unusual in the area, but the first she's heard of attacking a dog or cat, and the prey surviving to be treated at the hospital.

"Usually a dog attack, the dog is going to jump on the smaller one, and try to kill it right away. They're not going to carry it off," said Dr. Ealy.

"It's just a miracle, I needed it, I needed a miracle, and I got one," said Collins.

Toto moves a little slower, but he's back home, and for that, Ms. Collins is grateful.

Ms. Collins didn't want us to show her face on camera, but she did want to tell her story to warn other pet owners about the possibility of attacks.

She wants to make sure no one else has to go through what she did.

The veterinarian says if you have coyotes in your neighborhood, make sure you never leave your dog or cat unattended at night, especially if they are small. They could be seen as prey for the wild animal.

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