CoyoteVest: apparel that protects
By Terry L. Wilson
On a calm September afternoon Paul Mott had just finished walking his three dogs at Meanley Park, an unofficial off-leash dog park in Scripps Ranch. 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 Pamela Mott, Paul’s wife. “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 is an engineer by trade and excels in problem solving, wanted to do more. His solution was to design a coyote-proof collar to protect a dog’s 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 homemade 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 CoyoteVest 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 Stephen King movie.
“The vest makes your dog look so strange and dangerous, and so unusual, that it introduces doubt to a coyote, causing him to think twice about attacking,” Paul said. “A dog wearing a CoyoteVest 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 CoyoteVest 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 dog’s movements, they won’t get overheated 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 CoyoteVests fit pooches of all shapes and sizes.
“We have sizes from a mini-vest for a 3-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,” Paul added. “We never intended for this to become a successful business. Our mission was to do what we could to save a single dog’s 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. Visit coyote-vest.com.