Travis Van Winkle of ‘You’ was injured rescuing his dog from a coyote

Shalita Grant and Travis Van Winkle in You
Travis Van Winkle played Cary Conrad on the third season of You. I didn’t finish the third season (I haven’t finished any of the seasons) but Travis was fun to watch as Cary. As far as I got, Cary was still seemingly a good guy. And it looks like Travis is too. At least he’s the kind of guy that will fight off coyotes to save his dog. Let me give you a little backstory. Travis adopted Karen in April of 2020 after losing his dog Nina. (He was heartbroken over Nina’s death. He still is.) Karen is named after Travis’ Aunt Karen, who was killed by a dog leash clip (that crazy story iw here.) Travis is devoted to Karen and she’s all over his Instagram. She helped film his rom com, ‘Tis the Season to be Merry with Rachel Leigh Cook. She goes on road trips with him (Karen, not Rachel). Karen is his baby – we know what that’s like.

Travis and Karen were at Griffith Park in Los Angeles last Sunday. It was the middle of the day, and the park was well populated, when Travis saw two coyotes starting to circle Karen. They got so close to her that Travis thought they’d actually bit her leg. Travis ended up being able to rescue Karen from the coyotes before she was hurt, but scraped up his leg pretty bad in the process. He posted the scary encounter to Instagram:

[From Instagram via Just Jared]

I’m having so many thoughts at once. My heart is in my throat because I can just feel how scared Travis was. It’s very difficult to chase off a coyote, even with noise. Coyote attacks are increasing all over LA and the suburbs and we are at a loss for how to ward them off. But I know where Travis is in that video and I’m very surprised to see coyotes walking in that area at that time with that many people. It used to be that you only had to worry about coyotes if your pet got into unpopulated areas or at night. Griffith gets really busy during the day. But coyotes return to known food sources, and I’m sure they know those trash cans and picnic spots have food at that time.

I don’t want to harp on Travis when he’s down, but it sounds like Karen was pretty far away from him at the time of the attack. He said he had to slide down the hill to get to her. He was at a public park, why wasn’t his dog on a leash, by his heel? Griffith has leash rules. Maybe Karen got away from him? A leash won’t save you in a coyote attack but in that setting, they are less likely to approach the animal if it’s near the human. If you want to run your dogs off leash in Southern California, dog parks and dog beaches are just about the only coyote-free places to do so. Unfortunately, you have to contend with some jerky fellow dog owners, but that’s another post. The important thing is that Karen is okay, and Travis will be too. Now let’s all go home and hug our pets a little tighter tonight.

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Photo credit: Getty Images, Netflix and via Instagram

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9 Responses to “Travis Van Winkle of ‘You’ was injured rescuing his dog from a coyote”

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  1. jferber says:

    I feel for him. Get better soon! You are a hero!

  2. Willow says:

    I’m glad he was able to save her. But…coyotes are competing with humans for limited resources and are just following their wild instincts to survive. I hope he makes safer choices after this.

  3. ElleE says:

    Worlds collide and I can share my know-it-all sh!t about coyotes on Celebitchy! We killed all of the wolves, the coyotes only natural predator, so man is their only predator now.

    Coyotes are smart, they communicate and coordinate using sounds and they will 100% go after dog smaller than them. They even have one coyote designated to go out and “play” with the dog, roll on its back and yip joyfully to disarm the dog while the others coordinate the attack outside of the dogs vision. Oh, if you see 1 or 2 coyotes hunting, like they are here, there are at least 3 others hanging back from afar, waiting to jump in if they need to.

    A dog park is a perfect hunting ground-they are just probing the system, looking for vulnerability and they see that humans will protect their dogs so they aren’t getting the time they need to kill the dogs. Maybe they’ll give up on that dog park, maybe not.

    I remember leaving a playground when my daughter was 3 because a lone coyote wandered nonchalantly onto the playground, pretending to be uninterested. I didn’t l know anything about coyotes then and now I get the chills thinking about what it had planned.

    • Mrs Robinson says:

      Nor Cal here—live near the Presidio and there are all kinds of warnings recently that it’s pupping season through February so there’s more of a risk of aggression from coyotes.
      A number of people are fiercely protective of coyotes here and would object to him showing those wounds as the coyotes didn’t bite him. It’s a polarized debate.

      • ElleE says:

        Colorado and other states solve the coyote problem in 20 year cycle: pass legislation to re-introduce wolves hundreds of miles away and within a year, the coyote population is back under control. Then the wolf population becomes problematic for hikers, so they pass legislation to kill all of the wolves. Repeat.

        The debate over how to handle the danger posed by coyotes should be polarizing (we need people on both sides of the issue to come to a rational solution) – I just don’t think that the wolf population should be dropped from the debate. There is a 100% correlation between the 2. Nature allowed for a natural balance after all.

  4. SpankyB says:

    It’s breeding season for coyotes right now and they’re looking for den sites. Coyotes do try and avoid dogs that size, coyotes can easily get injured by them and that usually means death to the coyotes since they don’t have vets they can see. However, smaller dogs, cats, and rabbits are an easy meal.

  5. elizabethagain says:

    Please leash your dogs in parks that have leash laws. Just because your dog is friendly with other dogs or will ignore other dogs doesn’t mean that other leashed dogs are okay with them. My dog has both a strong small prey drive and is scared of dogs she doesn’t know (she’s a rescue and had some bad encounters before she found me). However, she loves being outdoors. I keep her leashed and calm, unless a dog she doesn’t know runs up to her. And if it’s a small dog, it’s a danger to everyone. Unfortunately, she’s of a type that will get blamed, no matter who’s at fault.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve had to scoop her up to prevent a situation while I’ve waited minutes for the owner to arrive. And my dog is not small!

    There are off-leash dog parks and hike all throughout LA.

  6. Bella says:

    Glad he and his darling dog are ok. I live in SF and as someone posted above, we have a huge coyote problem. Someone mentioned re-introducing wolves and that sounds like a good solution. My PSA for the day is to leash your dog. I love, love, dogs and I do not understand people who do not leash their dog. It is dangerous and anything can happen, i.e such as a coyote attack. It is not that hard.

  7. Anne says:

    My dog and I had a close call with a coyote on a Griffith Park trail awhile back — broad daylight, with people around. We were rounding a curve and I saw an unleashed dog on the trail ahead; I stopped and this “dog” started walking toward us and I was grumbling under my breath about irresponsible dog owners and then I realized that it was not a dog, it was a COYOTE. Looking at my 10-pound poodle like he was a snack.

    I love hiking there, but I will NEVER take my dog again. I read up on it later — apparently, since the park is surrounded on all sides by freeways/subdivisions, the coyotes are essentially trapped in there and the population is out of control.