DICKINSON, Texas - A quiet residential community off of FM 517 in Dickinson has been dealing with some unwanted wildlife.
Recently, residents have noticed coyotes getting braver, more aggressive and moving into their yards looking for food.
"Yeah, it was like 15 feet away from me, maybe 10 feet away," said Francine Price.
A coyote came into Price's yard and snatched her dog while she sat just feet away.
"The coyote picked her up and carried her off right in front of me and she was crying all the way," she said. "It's like a member of your family being carried away right in front of you."
Price isn't alone. A neighbor down the street has had three cats go missing, too.
"We had that cat for 13 years," said Don Davis. "I found a footprint right there in the sand from a coyote."
Davis said his wife has seen the wild animals pacing back and forth along his backyard. He put up a chicken wire fence hoping to keep them out.
"They're pretty brave actually," Davis said.
Texas Parks and Wildlife workers told Local 2 coyotes are extremely smart and dangerous. The workers don't trap and relocate the animals because that could spread rabies. Instead, they tell homeowners to prevent coyotes from wandering your property by getting rid of what is attracting them. Usually, they're looking for food.
Wildlife experts said it's legal to shoot them if they come into your yard and become a nuisance or a danger, but you should check your city's ordinance to see what it allows.
Workers at A All Animal Control of North Houston said they've been getting calls from people in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties to come and remove coyotes that make their way into communities. They've even removed coyotes from a River Oaks neighborhood in the middle of the city.
Because they can't relocate the animals, they are usually euthanized.
"They've never been aggressive like that," said Mike Price. He wants his neighbors in Dickinson to know what happened to their family's dog so no one else has to go through what they have.
"I'd like people to know, don't let your kids out of your sight and don't let small animals wander around," he warned.
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