I wanted to write about a topic that has hit close to home. There has been a string of coyote attacks in our neighborhood. We have lost 3 dogs and 2 others have been severely injured. Even more concerning is how and why these attacks have occurred. In all cases, a pack of 3-5 coyotes have jumped the fence of the homeowners property to get to the pet. In 2 of these instances the pet owner was in the back yard. The coyotes were unafraid of the people when attempts to ward them off were made and in one instance they stood down an owners attempt to scare them off. This owner and her young daughter were placed at risk.
Our pets and our children are generally considered safe in our fenced in back yards. This new coyote behavior changes how a community thinks and lives. Discussions with our Arizona Gish and Game experts who visited our neighborhood have seen this behavior in coyotes in other neighborhoods and know it is a result of people feeding the wildlife. When fed, the coyotes in the area see all other dogs as competition and territorial aggression behavior sets in. They kill pets because we feed them. The coyotes are subsequently killed by people/officials as a means to protect the public.
I want to make a plea to people living out here on the edge where community meets nature. Please don’t feed the wildlife. Please don’t leave food out for them. They have plenty to eat. Our pets and our children and our wildlife are all at risk. Respectfully to all who live in our community.
Brett the Vet