BRINNON, Wash. – People living near the Olympic Canal Tracks are reeling after wild coyotes attacked and killed their pets, sometimes while they are being walked on a leash.
“She doesn’t go out of my house unless she’s in my hands or on a short leash,” said Sherry Adcock while holding her new toy poodle, Jezebel.
Jezebel is her third dog in two years. The other pets were both attacked and eaten by wild coyotes.
The last two were attacked and eaten by wild coyotes. Her last dog, named Mr. Z, was snatched from her front porch.
“He was my baby,” she said, holding his photograph.
Matt Cleland with the United States Department of Agriculture said dozens coyote attacks have been reported in Jefferson County and the list is growing.
“Chickens, small farm animals, lots of cats and dogs have gone missing,” Cleland said. “And two reports of dogs actually been taken on leashes while walking in the daylight with their owners.”
Coyotes usually shy away people, but Cleland worries an attack on humans is possible if the animals do not fear humans.
“It’s a very legitimate threat,” he said. “Whether it happens today or tomorrow, it’s hard to say. If something is not done sooner than later it could happen.”
“They’re not afraid of us,” said Adcock. “You can scream and holler all you want and they’re just going to stand there and look at you.”
Sherry said her neighbors are not allowed to shoot the animals, hiring the USDA to take out the troublesome coyotes could cost $1,000.
“The USDA gets our tax dollars, that’s their job is to take care of problem animals,” Adcock said.
Meanwhile the problem coyotes have free reign and Adcock says neighbors and visitors should be on the look out.
“If they’re walking their dogs, they need to keep them on a short leash and carry a big stick,” said Adcock.
The USDA reminds homeowners to keep pet food and garbage in secure containers to dissuade hungry coyotes.