There are many ways to maximize the security and comfort of a home. In addition to home improvement projects and the installation of a security system, many homeowners take other precautions, such as planting trees at least 10 feet from sewer lines or making sure their homes are properly insulated to protect against cold weather.
Yet residents of Decatur, AL, have to make sure they don’t let their animals out for fear of coyotes.
Because it’s currently the breeding season for coyotes, there have been a significant increase in sightings, especially around Southeast Decatur.
Danny Melson, the interim director of Decatur Animal Services, urges residents to keep their cats and small dogs inside whenever possible. The feeding of strays, or leaving of food for any reason, is discouraged.
Melson plans to set out traps later this week. All coyotes captured will be euthanized.
Luckily, according to animal control officer Miles Naylor, humans should not feel at all threatened by the coyotes, as attacks are extremely rare.
“There aren’t more coyotes,” Naylor commented. “We’re just seeing more with the changing weather because they’re more active in their search for food.”
Naylor will be conducting a class on protecting pets from wild animals later this week.
Chris Keenum, of Keenum’s Wild Animal Control, says that February is a tough month for coyotes. The cold, breeding season, and territory disputes mean they are burning more energy and therefore need more food.
While coyotes will eat bugs and berries, they aren’t available in the winter months, so the small, ferocious canines will turn to stray cats, small dogs, mice, and even road kill for food.
According to Melson, the coyote issue this year is nothing compared to 2011, when they were a real problem for Decatur residents.