Luling pet owners need to look out for coyotes

May 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Two small dogs in the Willowdale area are missing and St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said it appears that they were taken from their yards by predators such as coyotes or bobcats.

“Recently, two yorkies were let out by their owners to do their business during the evening hours, and after a few minutes, were gone,” Champagne said. “Under the circumstances involved it does not appear the dogs were stolen or got lost.”

Both incidents occurred in the 200 block of Beaupre Drive. Champagne said his office has also heard other reports of a Chihuahua disappearing in the same manner.

“There have been several documented sightings of coyotes in the area, particularly where homes in the perimeter of the subdivision abut against the woods,” he said. “These animals are sly and intelligent and will not hesitate to grab a small dog or cat, especially after dark.”

Last November, 10 pets, including cats and dogs, were reported missing in St. Rose. Coyotes were believed to be the culprit in those instances as well.

Animal Control Director Angie Robert said that she gets reports of coyotes all across the parish, especially in areas where new construction is taking up some of the coyotes’ habitat and food sources.

“So they have to find alternative food sources,” Robert said.

Robert said the most important thing that residents can do is help cut down on the reasons coyotes come into neighborhoods.

 “We have to cut off the food supply,” Robert said. “Always put your pet inside at night. Never leave your pet outside at night because when you do it becomes part of the food chain and you’re almost inviting the coyotes to come in.
“Also, never leave food outside at night and keep your trash in a closed trash bin. Those are the type of things that will draw them in.”

Robert also said that while coyotes are generally afraid of humans, some in the area seem to be losing that fear.

“They do have a general fear of humans, but I think their food drive surpasses that,” Robert said. “You have to worry that they’re kind of getting used to humans.”

If you spot a coyote near a residential area, please contact Animal Control at 985-783-5000.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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