Coyotes causing concern in NW Harris County neighborhood

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A local neighborhood is on edge after at least one coyote attack.

Several coyotes have been spotted in northwest Harris County recently, and one family's pet has been killed.

"My chihuahua was 11 years old," Lyndia Johnson said.

Tex was his name. He was 11, but spry and young at heart, Johnson said.

"He thought he was a 100-pound dog."

Tex was killed Wednesday while Johnson was on a walk with her husband.

"On the way back from the run, he encountered a pack of coyotes, six or seven of them. Immediately, they ran after our Chihuahua," she said.

Johnson said at first, one coyote attacked her dog and her husband was able to stop it.

"The chihuahua took off in fear again and all the coyotes gathered around him and tore him up, ultimately killing my Chihuahua," Johnson said.

Neighbors said coyote sightings in the Winchester Country subdivision aren't new.

"There's definitely been an increase," Katherine Higdon said.

For months, posts to the community's Next Door app have been filled with talk about coyotes, prompting fear among those with small dogs that could be considered prey.

"I've been watching people post about coyote spotting and spotting always seems like so far away, but now they're in these neighborhoods ... surrounding us," Higdon said.

The issue seems to be a lack of a natural habitat. As the area grows, coyotes move in because they have nowhere else to go. Also, White Oak Bayou hugs the area of northwest Harris County and its banks are prime coyote habitat.

"The coyotes are determined to stay," Johnson said.

Johnson knows they can't all be removed, but she fears the attacks will continue if nothing is done.

"We don't want to kill off the coyotes. We do want to see them protected, but at this point, me and my neighbors are all wanting to walk around with a gun, and that's not wise to do," she said.