On a calm September afternoon Paul Mott had just finished walking his three dogs at Scripps Ranch Dog Park. Suddenly, a coyote appeared from nowhere and grabbed his poodle mix by its’ neck.
“My husband Paul had just put two of our three dogs in the car when he heard a yelp from Buffy,” said Paul’s wife Pamela. “He turned to see a coyote viciously shaking Buffy by the neck; before Paul could react the coyote ran off with her.
“We were devastated, and wanted to do something positive out of this terrible ordeal,” Pamela said. “We started a Facebook group; Coyotes in San Diego. We shared sightings and information about what to do if someone encounters a coyote.”
That was a good start, but Paul, who by trade is an engineer that excels in problem solving, wanted to do more. His solution was to design a coyote proof collar to protect a dogs’ neck. That idea quickly morphed into a spike covered vest that protected the neck and torso.
“I found a brand of lightweight Kevlar originally designed for prison guards to protect them against home made knives and shanks,” Paul said. “So I covered the vest with spikes. We ended up with double rows of spikes around the neck and down the back along with plastic whiskers. If a coyote were to attack, those stiff plastic bristles would poke him in the eye and throat causing the coyote to back off.”
Another upside to the Coyote Vest is the menacing appearance it gives the pooch. Sporting a vest covered with one-inch spikes and porcupine-like quills can make even a timid wiener dog look like a devil hound straight out of a Steven King movie.
“The vest makes your dog look so strange and dangerous, and so unusual, that it introduces doubt to a coyote; causing him think twice about attacking,” Paul said. “A dog wearing a Coyote Vest looks like he can fight back.”
“One of our customers from Del Mar was taking out the garbage when four coyotes surrounded her,” Pamela said. “They looked at her dog who was wearing our vest, but didn’t attack.”
Once the idea for the Coyote Vest was born Paul and Pamela broke out the sewing machine and began stitching their one-of-a-kind vests together.
“We made sure that the vests were comfortable and light weight,” Paul said. “It doesn’t restrict a dogs movements, they won’t get over heated and it’s waterproof.”
The vests have caught the attention of dog owners everywhere and orders were soon streaming in from around the world. The Coyote Vests fit pooches of all shapes and sizes.
“We have sizes from a mini-vest for a three pound dog up to a large for a 45 pound dog,” Pamela said. “And they come in a wide array of colors, and we’re about to add a bright orange for the hunting season.”
“You can even mix and match the colors with the whiskers that also come in various colors,” Pau added. “We never intended for this to become a successful business. Our mission was to do what we could to save a single dogs life.”
A fully equipped vest, Velcro or Snap Buckle style for dogs and cats costs $99.95, along with an array of separate protective items that include a Throat Guard and Hawk Shields.
For information and prices visit: coyotevest.com