Coyote attacks increasing: What you should know

By Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter

FULSHEAR, Texas - Scared, stapled and badly shaken, 10 year-old Penny is lucky to be alive after being viciously attacked by a coyote.

"She quit barking. hen I heard her yelping, like she was hurt," the dog's owner said.

The owner asked to not be identified.

The attack happened Monday night, at dusk, in a Fulshear community off Buffalo Hills Lane while Penny's owner briefly let her out in the backyard.

She didn't expect a coyote to get over a nearly 8-foot-tall fence.

"I opened the back door and a huge coyote was standing over her and has her pinned to the ground," said her owner.

The homeowner said she scared the coyote away and then helped Penny, who was severely injured and bleeding, before rushing her to the vet.

"She has two lacerations about an inch and a half on one side of her neck and four puncture wounds on the other side," Penny's owner said.

As it turns out, this wasn't the first time coyotes had been spotted in the neighborhood or in the wooded area just behind them.

"I felt like he could've killed me last night. He was a huge, huge coyote," the dog's owner said.

Now, the homeowner is warning other neighbors.

She's asking them to be on the lookout, because she said she's now living in fear every day when the sun goes down.

"Something needs to be done about the coyotes out here because I don't feel safe in my own backyard anymore," said the homeowner.

Here are some things to know about coyotes:

What are precautions to take to manage coyotes?

  • Do not feed coyotes
  • Keep pet food and water inside.
  • Keep garbage securely stored, especially if it has to be put on the curb for collection; use tight-locking trash cans or wrap the cans with bungee cords t make sure they cannot be easily opened.
  • Keep compost piles securely covered; correct composting never includes animal matter such as bones or fat, which can draw coyotes even more quickly than decomposing vegetable matter.
  • Keep pets inside, confined securely in a kennel or covered exercise yard, or within the close presence of an adult.

What should you do when you encounter a coyote?

  • Make noise and do other things to scare the coyote.
  • Portable air horns, motor vehicle horns, propane cannons, starter pistols, low-powered pellet guns, slingshots and thrown rocks can be effective.
  • Check with local authorities regarding noise and firearms ordinances.

How do coyotes become an issue in communities?

  • Urban and suburban coyotes, like urban deer, are symptoms of a broader problem.
  • People continue to expand housing subdivisions and other human development into what used to be open range wildlife habitat, especially on the expanding fringes of large metropolitan areas.
  • This is increasing the potential for encounters and conflicts between people and wildlife.

Who can help out with the problem of coyotes?

  • Texas Wildlife Services, in partnership with local governments, provides nuisance coyote control services in some urban areas.
  • In some cities, such as Austin, the Texas Cooperative Extension assists by coordinating nuisance coyote control and public education.
  • Call the main Texas Wildlife Services office in San Antonio at 210-472-5451 to get the number of the local office nearest you.

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