'Tinkerbell' Had To Get 400 Stitches, But Veterinarian Says She Should Be Fine

WEST NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Residents in Rockland County are being urged to keep an eye on their pets after a dog was attacked by a coyote in West Nyack.

Tinkerbell, an 8-pound, 2-year-old Chihuahua, was attacked in her backyard around midnight on Sunday and had to get 400 stitches all over her body.

The dog sustained bites to her back and is now recovering both physically and emotionally, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

“She literally, on the left side, was a huge hole and what looked like her intestines coming out,” owner Daniel Dolce told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan.

Tinkerbell suffered seven-inch wounds and the family had to wait three long days to find out if she would survive.

“No internal injuries, thank God. The doctor thought it was a result of her being chubby which worked out because the impact of the bite did not pierce through the fat tissue,” Dolce said.

Injuries sustained by Tinkerbell the Chihuahua (credit: CBS 2)

Injuries sustained by Tinkerbell (credit: CBS 2)

A drain was removed from the dog’s wounds and 28 stitches could be taken out Monday, Adams reported.

“She’s still frightened when we walk her in the back on the leash and she’ll be hesitant to go back in those general areas,” Dolce said. “She shakes, so she’s still a little bit snake bit. She’s still a little bit scared.”

This was not the first attack in the area. Last month, a coyote snatched a dog out of a family’s backyard. The dog was not seen again. All that was found was its collar with bite marks on it.

Coyote attacks are rare in Rockland County, but animal control is advising people to stay alert, keep an eye on small children and keep small dogs on a leash. Experts said if you come face to face with a coyote, treat it like a loose dog.

“Use caution, keep it in front of you, back away slowly, don’t panic,” said Pat Coleman of Clarkstown Animal Control.

Animal control experts said coyotes are a threat to small animals, but not to humans.

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