Urban Coyote Attacks On The Rise, Alarming Residents
I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that coyote presence in urban areas in increasing. Just this week, at her Bible study, Lorrie had a lady tell her about coyotes attacking her dog in her back yard. The woman ran out, saved her dog by kicking the coyote and then ran back inside. The coyote then tried to break a window to get in the house to get the dog. Another friend has told us of her small dog also being attacked in her back yard. On numerous occasions we had to protect Polly, our goose dog here at NCC, when a group of coyotes would approach the turf vehicle Polly was sitting in. They would come within a few yards of the cart, my staff member and Polly. Please watch your pets and don't let them outside alone unless are in a safe fenced area.
Below are just a few recommendations concerning coyotes
Steps for keeping pets safe include:
1. Don't feed wild animals such as deer or raccoons. This encourage coyote presence
2. Keep cats indoors at all times.
3. Don't leave cats or dogs outside.
4. Don't let pets outside out at night unless accompanied by a person
5. Secure garbage so coyotes cannot access it
6. Keep dogs on a leash when walking them
Deliberately feeding coyotes is a mistake. You may enjoy hand-feeding animals, but this is a surefire way to get them accustomed to people and will ultimately lead to their demise. Here are some other general rules about feeding:
- Avoid feeding pets outside. If you must, feed them only for a set time during the day (for no more than one hour) and remove the food bowl as soon as your pet has finished her meal.
- In dry conditions, water can be as alluring as food, so remove water bowls set outside for pets and make watering cans unavailable.
- If you compost, use enclosed bins and never compost meat or fish scraps.
- Good housekeeping, such as regularly raking areas around bird feeders, can also help discourage coyote activity near residences.
- Remove fallen fruit from the ground.
- Keep trash in high-quality containers with tight-fitting lids. Only place the cans curbside the morning of collection. If you leave them out overnight, they are more likely to be tipped and broken into.
- Bag especially attractive food wastes such as meat scraps or leftover pet food. If it is several days before garbage will be picked up, freeze temporarily or take to a dumpster or other secure storage container.
ShelterCoyotes are secretive animals, and studies have shown they can live for a long time in close proximity to dense human settlements without ever being noticed. Such coyotes are “abiding by the rules” and should be left alone.
In the spring, when coyotes give birth and begin to raise young, they concentrate their activities around dens or burrows in which their young are sheltered. At these times, the parents may become highly defensive and territorial, and challenge any other coyote or dog that comes close to the pups. People walking their dogs in parks and wooded areas may run in to these coyotes and even be challenged by them to back off.
Rarely, fights occur, probably most often when a dog is off its leash and chases a coyote. It’s important to recognize such incidents for what they are: defense of space and young, not random attacks. If you encounter a coyote when walking your pet, do not run away; scare off the coyote with the techniques described in our coyote hazing guidelines.
Free-roaming petsFree-roaming pets, especially cats and sometimes small dogs, may attract coyotes into certain neighborhoods. The best way to minimize risk to your pets is to not leave them outside unattended.
Other domestic animals kept outside, such as chickens and rabbits, may also be viewed as prey by coyotes. Protect poultry or other outdoor animals from coyotes (and other predators) with protective fencing (both structural and electric) and by ensuring that they are confined in sturdy cages or pens each evening.