Coyotes have been spotted all over Dunedin in recent months.
Dunedin Patch commenter Jenn Andersen reported seeing one in her Spanish Trails neighborhood in late October.
Two large coyotes (40lbs +) tried to eat my pocket beagle this morning in Spanish trails. They were ten feet from me and had little fear of me or my larger dog. Our 70 lb short haired pointer chased them off. This is there second attempt at the beagle. We purchased a house with a large yard for the kids and dogs to enjoy. The city needs to relocate these coyotes soon. The coyotes next attempt on the dogs will be their last.
Although it may be alarming to see a coyote, especially if it is attacking a beloved pet, it is not advised to shoot at them in residential areas, such as in the case of a Dunedin man arrested for opening fire while riding around Dunedin Golf Club early Tuesday. Mark Fitzegerald, 49, told Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies he was looking for his dog and brought guns with him for protection against coyotes. He ended up damaging the city's reclaimed water tower.
If you see a coyote, make a loud noise to scare it away — yell, clap, spray it with a water hose, honk, or bang pots and pans if you have to — and then report it online to Pinellas County.
If a coyote will not leave when you make a loud noise and it is an imminent threat, Pinellas County officials advise to call 911, a Pinellas County official recommends in an informational video.
"While in the past there was a wildlife officer to which this removal would be assigned, Animal Services has since eliminated the wildlife officer position," the Pinellas County website states.
Pinellas County also warns residents not to leave pet food or trash outside because it attracts coyotes. Here are some additional tips for keeping you and your pets safe from coyotes.
"The long-term solution requires public education, changes in residents’ behavior and in some situations, the means to remove individual offending animals."
More Coyote Coverage:
- Coyote Sightings in Dunedin
- Coyote? Coydog? Wolf?
- Coyotes Dogged by Unwarranted Fear
- State Panel to Study Coyotes From 'A to Z'
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