The most recent victim of North Tonawanda’s rash of coyote attacks got some good news Friday.

Tony Vaccarella, coordinator of the Niagara County Health Department’s rabies program, said the animal killed and sent to Albany for rabies testing turned out to have a clean bill of health.

“We just got the tests back a half hour ago and the results were negative,” he said Friday afternoon.

But residents’ fears of coyotes haven’t been quelled, and it’s affecting how some of them are handling walking their pets. Leanne Powers, owner of Oh My Dog Day Care, said a lot of locals have invisible fences that keep their dogs in, but don’t necessarily keep wild animals out. So for the next four Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to noon, the shop is hosting a free play group for North Tonawanda residents with dogs who need a workout.

“We usually charge $7, but we’re waiving that for NT residents,” Powers said.

The place has a 5,000-square foot. inside area and a 1,500-square foot enclosed yard for the animals to run around with their own kind, safe from lurking coyotes. The only condition is the dogs have to have their vaccinations up to date and be able to play well with other dogs.

Powers said with new developments going up in Wheatfield and other areas, displaced animals are making their way into the city and she’s looking at all the rustling bushes with apprehension. She’s hopeful that letting dogs come to play for free will lessen the impact on the local pet population.

“But I’m staying at my boyfriend’s house in the city because I have dogs and don’t have a fenced in yard,” Powers said.

Contact reporter Daniel Pye

at 693-1000, ext. 158.

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