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COYOTE SAFETY: Coyotes prowling neighborhoods put pets at risk

Reported by: Jessica Moore
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Updated: 3/25/2013 10:21 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Coyotes are more visible than usual in Henderson. They could be in your backyard, too, no matter where you live in the valley and your pets could be at risk.

News 3's Jessica Moore is on special assignment looking into coyote concerns.
TONIGHT: Simple steps to take to protect the family pet.
She begins her investigation from Angel Park Golf Course in Summerlin.

Golf courses like Angel Park are often a popular hangout for coyotes. The golf courses have water and food in the form of rodents and vegetation.

People who live near courses in Anthem and Seven Hills report seeing more coyotes than usual lately.

But these animals actually travel all over the valley through washes and under bushes under the cover of darkness.

But lately coyotes have been anything but discreet in certain neighborhoods, where many pets have been killed or have gone missing.

Tonight Moore begins a two-part series on coyotes with the sad story of a lost Chihuahua.

Lola is one dog that lost her life to coyotes in the middle of the day. Allie, 14, fought to save her pet outside the family's home in Anthem Country Club.

Allie came out running in her bare feet and jumped over the fence and went running after the coyotes and she saw them drop Lola by a rock.

Lola's injuries were severe and the family raced her to the vet.
The veterinarian said that her back was broken and she was paralyzed. The family had to put her down.

Patrick Carson is one of many Anthem residents who talked to News 3 about seeing coyotes in their neighborhood. Some residents had pictures caught on cell phones in broad daylight.

"I think we've probably seen an increased number of calls from this area," Carson said.

Coyotes are native to the Mojave Desert. They've been here and they always will be here, long after we're gone.

Nevada wildlife expert Doug Nielsen points out that coyotes are just doing what's natural to survive and he says, we're making it easy for them.

“The very things that attract us to this type of living is attractive to them, it's that simple,” Nielsen said.

The coyotes come into neighborhoods looking for water and food.

Things that are now available to them, thanks to development. If they can't find rabbits or rodents they may go after small dogs or cats.

This has some valley residents on edge who are convinced coyotes are more prevalent than ever.

Patrick Carson tells News 3 he still sees coyotes in his backyard, but after losing Lola, the family is more protective of other pets than ever.

So, everytime you take the dogs out you have to be out here with them?

Allie actually had been watching Lola but had gone in for a bowl of cereal.

"Weren't too thrilled that she chased after a coyote (but proud)... after what I know about coyotes now I don't think she was in danger," Carson said.

What's the answer?

Carson and others have been weighing the options, which include using a humane trap.

"But you trap one coyote, you have what 199 to go? so i really don't think anything can be done as far as I know," Carson said.

In fact, coyotes are considered varmint in Nevada and can be hunted without a permit in rural areas. However, people can't shoot them in the metro area although some pet owners have inquired.

It's coyote mating season right now so these animals are out in full force, especially at night.
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