I just wanted to offer some of my experience with Coyotes. Coyotes have been in Birmingham a long time. There was a Coyote “problem” in the neighborhoods near Vulcan Park back in 1982 and I worked to try to help with that even back then. What you need to know is that Coyotes are scavengers and skilled opportunistic hunters too. Coyote’s favorite meal is house cats, but small dogs are equally devoured. Some outdoor cats become smart and learn how to survive, but cats that come out infrequently are not as savvy. I had one case where a lady fed her Shih Tzu on her back deck every day for years. One evening she suddenly heard a commotion on her deck and found her Shih Tzu almost dead from an attack that she did not witness.After a huge Vet bill and a long recovery period for her poor Shih Tzu, this lady eventually resumed her habit of feeding her Shih Tzu on her deck. After about a week, once again she heard a commotion on her deck and her Shih Tzu was gone permanently. Most “missing” cats are not missing at all either, but were probably taken by Coyotes. I dare say that more cats are taken by Coyotes than are run over by cars. Coyotes live very close to populated areas because that is where the food is. Coyotes work as a pack and will memorize the routines that your pets have, until they get the perfect opportunity to attack. Coyotes can easily go over and under fences too, so a fenced yard will not protect your pets. The best protection for your pets is to keep them indoors or
closely observed when they are out. Coyotes are very shy of people and an area may have a very large population of Coyotes even before one is spotted. When I worked for Animal Control, we impounded Coyotes from parking decks in downtown Birmingham quite frequently. Yes, Coyotes are in downtown Birmingham too, because they can raid garbage cans and frequently go into parking decks to get to the garbage. As a Coyote goes up into the parking deck raiding the garbage, they do not understand how to get back down. This is when a Coyote may inadvertently be cornered by a person and the Coyote will defend itself when it is cornered and frightened. If you want the Coyotes to leave, the simple solution is to remove the food sources, and your small house pets are #1 on that list, with garbage as a close second. We always said “if there are cats and garbage, then there will be Coyotes”, and Coyotes seldom go near live-traps either. Worth mentioning here are hawks and owls too. If you have a dog that is 5 pounds or under, hawks can take them in the daytime and owls at night. Cats do seem to have a 6th sense for hawks and owls, but all “outdoor” animals can be at risk if they are small enough. We have a hawk in our neighborhood that has swooped down after my 5 Pound dog China Marie more than once, even with me outside with her. China Marie has decided she prefers Wee-Wee pads now, and so do I. THIS IS A POST FROM A FRIEND.