1. Living With Predators | Withywindle Nature
    February 20, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    […] came across a post today regarding pets and coyotes. A couple had let their little Maltese have free access to an outdoor pen when they weren’t […]

  2. Merr
    January 24, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    We live in so Cal, the suburbs (developed) and on more than one occasion I’ve seen coyotes near the mailbox, walking down the sidewalk and crossing the street. I understand they follow the water, and we live near a wash (river channel). In our area there are also – yikes – mountain lions, that have on occasion been spotted in neighborhoods. One neighbor’s cat was a victim of a coyote attack, and it was so so sad. The coyotes come looking for food (that is what they do, after all) and cats can’t defend themselves (or dogs, for that matter) against that kind of instinct/drive. I do worry when I see cats outside.

    • kerri
      January 25, 2012 @ 8:00 am

      Yes, it is not good for cats (or wild birds) to have outdoor cats, although I do understand, if they’re used to being outside, how hard it is to keep them in.

  3. Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart
    January 23, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    I’m not a fan of pet doors for a number of reasons, including this risk from wildlife. It happened to one of my sister’s neighbors a couple of years ago. They were out of town. Family was checking in on their small dog, and they found a few pieces of him on the back patio. The coyotes in a surburban area, developed back in the 1960s got him. I think the ones “in town” are more aggressive than the ones we have here in the rural community where I live. Not that coyotes don’t kill dogs and cats here, but they are much more skittish of people or getting too close to the houses.

    • kerri
      January 25, 2012 @ 7:56 am

      Oh, that poor dog, Roxanne. Horrible. I also read that coyotes will note schedules, if a dog or cat goes out at a certain time, that’s when they stalk. I also agree with your assessment regarding rural vs. suburban coyotes. I think as with us humans, the more of us they encounter, the less skidish they are.

  4. Jane Boursaw
    January 22, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    We do have coyotes here in Michigan, and also bobcats and bald eagles. There’s even been a few cougars spotted. Would definitely keep a close eye on the pets if we had any.

    • Kerri
      January 23, 2012 @ 6:51 am

      I sometimes forget about the bobcats, Jane. We have those as well.

  5. MyKidsEatSquid
    January 21, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    We lost one of our cats to a coyote growing up. Poor cat didn’t go outside very often. When we visited the area again recently, someone warned me not to walk my dog at twilight. I guess the coyotes will approach dogs on leashes even.

    • Kerri
      January 21, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

      Very scary.

  6. Alfredo
    January 21, 2012 @ 10:17 am


    I live in Decatur GA, the city adjacent to Atlanta and have a miniature pinscher named Pepe. Even in an urban environment we have large red hawks that fly overhead and live accross the street from us in a small patch of woods. I was walking Pepe through these woods when a large hawk swooped down on us and buzzed Pepe. Fortunately neither of us was harmed. It doesn’t just happen in rural areas…

    • Kerri
      January 21, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

      What a scary experience, Alfredo. I’m so glad you’re both ok. The Doxie I mentioned in the post was dropped and recovered, but you’re right, these types of things just don’t happen in the rural areas either.

  7. Donna Hull
    January 20, 2012 @ 8:55 am

    I didn’t know that about coyotes and mating season. They are certainly a threat to small pets. I’ve heard many sad stories in Tucson, even of a pet being taken while the owner was standing right there.

    • Kerri
      January 20, 2012 @ 9:05 am

      I’ve heard of that as well, Donna. It was a cat and the coyote supposedly just ran through the yard and grabbed it up while four people were standing just feet away.

  8. Living With Predators | withywindlenature
    January 19, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    […] came across a post today regarding pets and coyotes. A couple had let their little Maltese have free access to an outdoor pen when they weren’t […]

  9. Cynthia M.
    January 19, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    Kerri – Great article. You’re right – it’s devastating to lose a beloved pet to predators of any kind. The best thing we can do is to teach each other how to live safely around ALL wildlife.

    It’s easy to villianize predators (a la V. Schoenwald’s comments above) but as several people here have already pointed out, they are a VERY important part of our natural world – despite what some people want to believe – and if we have any hope of living with a natural world that’s even remotely in balance, predators need to be in the mix. Deer and elk – the prey species of the “baddest of the bad” predators, coyotes and wolves – have been know to wreak their own havoc in communities where their populations go unchecked. And no, human hunting (which I’m fully in support of) isn’t enough to control those populations.

    I have many references on living with coyotes (which is applicable to all wildlife) on my website if anyone wants to see what more they can do to keep themselves and their pets (and their neighbors) safe: http://withywindlenatureprograms.com/the-eastern-coyote/living-with-coyotes/.

    Thanks again Kerri – great article, and great blog!

    • Kerri
      January 19, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

      Thank you, Cynthia. I completely agree. I’m one that has always believed there is a chain for the natural order of things and that chain is typically only broken, or animals (or insects) become pests when we humans have done something to disconnect the chain.

  10. Sheryl
    January 18, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    There are coyotes in my neighborhood; in fact, we spotted one recently strolling down the block, right in the middle of the street. My neighbor told me a bunch of them took down a deer in her front yard, and came back each night to finish it off. I am always surprised that knowing this, most of my neighbors leave their dogs out on invisible fences all day. When I hear the coyotes howling, or a dog squealing, I’m always sure there is something bad in the works…

    • Kerri
      January 18, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

      Oh, my, Sheryl. I know it is natural and all but I don’t think I could have taken the whole deer meal in the yard thing. It is shocking that people leave their dogs out. I’m not a fan of invisible fences anyway, which require shock collars to work.

  11. Kathleen Winn
    January 17, 2012 @ 9:43 am

    Our dog is seventy five pounds of muscle and she is lightening fast (especially considering her size.) I don’t worry about her and she roams freely in our rural area. My parents lived on a farm for many years and they lost at least two dogs to coyotes, but both were small. Their large dogs never were attacked. Coyotes are opportunists and I don’t think they’re looking to take on an animal that could kill or injure them, but would rather snatch smaller dogs who can’t defend themselves, or older dogs who are slower and less agile.

    While I sympathize with anybody who has lost a pet to coyotes, I recognize that they are also a part of wilderness, of the eco-system, and are acting on instinct and hunger, not maliciousness. They also kill rodents like rats and mice and keep those populations under control on prairies and in timber areas. And I must also admit that I love going outside at night and hearing their mournful cries echoing through the night. It always gives me chills and a certain sense of wonder that wild creatures like that still roam the countryside.

    • Kerri
      January 17, 2012 @ 9:54 am

      Unfortunately, as with everything else, humans have managed to screw up the habitat of these animals, driving them closer to suburban areas, where people have a false sense of security from such things. I sometimes like listening to the coyotes, but they can be quite eery as well, especially when it is so dark and I have to get from the studio to the house! 😉

      • Kathleen Winn
        January 17, 2012 @ 10:13 am

        I can understand that on a walk, even a short one, at night through the woods, their howls might not be so thrilling but more chilling instead! And I think you’re right, Kerri. It’s the constant push of development and urbanization that has brought these wild animals into the backyards of suburbanites where they now are preying on pets.

        Missouri used to have a bounty on them but stopped for a couple of reasons, none having to do with environmentalists. The main one was money, the state simply can no longer afford to pay for coyote pelts as they are easy prey and plentiful for hunters to kill. The other reason for discontinuing bounties is that it didn’t work. No matter how much money was spent, coyote numbers increased. It was an expensive and non-effective way to deal with them.

  12. Alexandra
    January 17, 2012 @ 9:39 am

    Did not know of this danger. Since last year, we have fisher cats on Cape Cod. They are supposedly even worse predators than coyotes.

    • Kerri
      January 17, 2012 @ 9:52 am

      I’ve never heard of fisher cats, Alexandra. Yikes!

  13. Heather L.
    January 17, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    Coyotes have been spotted in nearby neighborhoods. I will definitely be more vigilant when our dogs are out in the fenced backyard.

    • Kerri
      January 17, 2012 @ 9:51 am

      I would be very vigilant, Heather, epecially since they’ve been spotted near you.

  14. V Schoenwald
    January 17, 2012 @ 7:32 am

    Since the trailer park where I live is very close to the edge of town, yes, I have coyotes, and have seen them in town.
    Coyotes are now getting very brazen in their tatics and behavior, and have a few of their pelts hanging in my home from hunting excursions.
    They used to fear man, now they laugh and raid.
    Because of the greens, the bounty on predators is no more, and their non existence control has only made things more dangerous. We have had incidents where runners and joggers have come into contact with them on their morning runs and the rabies problems are getting out of control.
    I do not let my dog out of my sight, period, from 4 legged or 2 legged predators. I am out with her to go potty and if its nice outside, I have a small enclosed area I have eye contact with and earshot. I trust nothing or no one around here.

    • Kerri
      January 17, 2012 @ 8:29 am

      I think that is a good policy!

  15. Rick
    January 17, 2012 @ 6:56 am

    We have 4 Brittanies that are inside while my wife and I are at work. There have been very few indoor accidents. Once home, the dogs are put out into a small fenced area which has a gate to the rest of our acre. If I’m working in the Big backyard, they are allowed to join me. We back up against a large oper area and often hear coyotes in the distance. To date, we haven’t had any concerns, near sightings or issues with the yotes.

    • Kerri
      January 17, 2012 @ 8:31 am

      Rick, We used to joke that we saw more wildlife in the city than we do here. I think large rural areas tend to be safer, as the wild animals have more space in which to roam and hunt. We have seen coyotes (well, I saw the bushes moving) close to the house only once. We also typically only hear them in the distance.