Coyotes invade Troy backyards

Published 10:12 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

As Ren Anderson was enjoying an afternoon on his back porch, he looked up and found he had a rather unsuspected guest.

“A few weeks ago, a coyote just came through my back yard while I was on the deck,” Anderson said. “I’ve seen them out in the country, but to see them right here in town, it’s a little unnerving.”

Anderson said having a coyote right in his back yard surprised him — he’s not the only one.

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Troy’s Animal Control Officer Ken Andress said coyote complaints have been on the climb in the last six months.

“It’s a growing problem inside the city limits of Troy,” Andress said. “I think it has to do with the housing expanding to the outskirts of town. We’re taking their homes.”

Andress said coyote complaints haven’t just been late at night, but they’ve been coming at all times of the day.

Collin McCrary, who walks every morning at 5:30, said he’s seen coyotes numerous times on the Country Club Golf Course.

“A few weeks ago I was on the golf course, and a siren went off on 231, and you could hear packs of them yelping,” McCrary said. “There is a huge, huge pack of them that kind of roam together over in those woods.”

McCrary said he has seen up to six at a time, and while he doesn’t feel endangered by them, it’s a problem that may soon need to be addressed.

“If they keep multiplying, the city’s going to have to do something about them,” McCrary said.

Andress said keeping them away is something that’s a challenge.

“It’s all been tried,” Andress said. “They’re pretty smart and won’t even approach any traps.”

Andress said people are most likely safe around coyotes, but pets might be another story.

Though it was two years ago, Donna Schubert said a coyote attacked her pet dog right in her backyard in Troy.

“I have two medium-sized dogs, and my husband left them out during the night,” Schubert said. “And one of them just made an awful sound and came running back in. He had been attacked.”

Schubert said the dog had been bitten on his neck and back. Luckily, since he was young, he was able to escape, she said.

When it happened, Schubert said the sounds of coyotes in her backyard disappeared for a while, but now, she can hear them once again.

“I’m not afraid of a coyote attacking us, but I’m very concerned, particularly at night, about the dogs and our cat.”

Anderson and McCrary said they share Schubert’s concern.

“When you’re kids are outside or you let your dog out, you don’t know if they’re just right around the corner,” Anderson said.

Troy Animal Clinic Veterinarian Doug Hawkins said they have treated several animals that have been attacked by coyotes.

“We haven’t had coyotes here that many years, but they’re definitely reproducing, and a lot of people tell me they hear them howling,” Hawkins said.

Andress said if residents see coyotes that appear to be sick or aggressive, they should contact Animal Control at 566-0500.