June 11, 2008

Beware of Coyotes

I received a note from a resident who recently witnessed Coyotes in the neighborhood.  These wild animals can pose a danger to pets and children.  I also have been told that our rural neighbors to the East and South of Victor Gardens have also regularly seen and heard Coyotes outside the boundaries of our neighborhood. 

"I live at 4333 Victor Path, Unit 8.  This last Sunday night at about midnight, I was taking my two little dogs out.  I bumped into two of the other neighbors, and we stopped to chat at the bottom of my stairs.  I had my two little dogs on their leashes, and they were no less than three feet away from me when a wolf or very large coyote came loping down the street, clearly intending to grab one of them.  For whatever reason, he passed by (although by only a few feet), and ran into the yard and stopped to watch us for a second on the top of that little hill in the grass.  He finally headed down the back of the hill, I imagine into the brush that leads back into that training/apprenticeship facility. 

I reported this to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.  They said that it was the first report from Hugo, and that it may be a good idea for the association to send out flyers to notify people.  They said that there has been a recent sharp increase in coyote reports, mostly in Woodbury, and that they will attack cats, dogs (even with their owners standing right there with them on a leash!!), and toddlers.  I informed the neighbors around me who have pets or children -- it ran right into the yard where they all play with their kids and walk their pets, and it would be so easy to grab a little dog or child, run into those trees, and be gone for good.  One of the neighbors said that he heard them howling nearby a few nights ago, and that he's been walking his puppy elsewhere.  I heard them howling last night, so it sounds like they're staying in the area for the time being, which means no dog-walking around or after dusk.

Again, I hope that one of you can act on this, or redirect me to someone who can.  I don't want to alarm people, but it shouldn't be taken lightly either.  The Sheriff's Dept stressed that coyotes can be very bold, aggressive, and unafraid of people, and there is evidence of a pack in the area."   

-Rebecca L. Brune