ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There have been numerous reports in recent weeks of coyotes killing small dogs in St. Louis County, more specifically in Ladue and Florissant.
Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri said in most cases a pet owner doesn’t see the attack happen, just the aftermath.
“In the most recent case the pet owner did not see the attack occurring it was only when they went outside and found the carcass of their pet,” she explained.
According to Warnick the uptick in attacks were most likely prompted by the bitter colder temperatures that swept our region. She said the weather makes it harder for them to find food.
The target now is small dogs but Warnick said larger pets could become their prey when coyote pups are born begin in march.
Owners are urged to supervise their pets when they’re outdoors at night, also pet food should not be kept outside.
Anyone who comes into contact with a coyote should wave arms, clap and shout to try to scare it away.
- If your pets must be outside, make sure your yard fence is at least 6 feet high and 6 inches deep so coyotes cannot jump over it or dig under it.
- Don’t leave pet food outside and never feed coyotes or other wildlife. Feeding them will make them accustomed to humans and which can lead to injury of the coyote, pets and/or humans. If you must leave food out for stray cats, only leave it out during the day.
- Secure all trashcans and take to curbside as close to pick-up time as possible.
- During breeding season (January-March) and pup season (March-May), coyotes might even attack large dogs if they feel their territory or pups are threatened.
- Keep your dog on a leash when walking outside.
- If you come in contact with a coyote, wave your arms, clap and shout and try to scare it away; making yourself seem as large as possible.
- Make sure your pet is up-to-date on rabies and distemper vaccinations.
- For more information on dealing with wildlife, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation, www.mdc.mo.gov.
- In a pet emergency, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at (314) 647-4400.
- If you would like to learn more about wild canid behavior please contact the Endangered Wolf Center at (636) 938-5900, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website endangeredwolfcenter.org.