‘I walk in fear:’ Neighbors believe coyotes to blame for injured, dead animals

‘I walk in fear:’ Neighbors believe coyotes to blame for injured, dead animals
Families continue to report coyote sightings and possible attacks in Chesterfield County. Coyotes have been spotted in Moseley, Brandermill, and North Chesterfield, near Elkhardt Road, in recent months.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -Families continue to report coyote sightings and possible attacks in Chesterfield County. Coyotes have been spotted in Moseley, Brandermill, and North Chesterfield, near Elkhardt Road, in recent months.

“I could see it’s beady eyes, and I could see it’s silhouette from the street light,” explained Beth Anthony who lives near Elkhardt Road.

Tuesday, Anthony’s five pound Yorkie Sadie was outside using the bathroom, when Anthony heard a scuffle, Sadie yelping and soon realized she was injured after Sadie bolted towards her for help and comfort.

“She was screaming really loud, just this gutteral sound,” Anthony said. "As I was attempting to get my thoughts together, she wriggled out of the coyotes mouth-I really commend her bravery."

Sadie was taken the hospital, suffering major in internal injuries, and Anthony says Powhatan Animal Hospital helped save her life.

“I understand that we have taken their habitat by all the building that is taking place in Chesterfield County alone,” she said. “There has to be ways citizens can protect themselves because I now walk in fear."

On W. Hundred Road, another family feels the same.

“You get out of the truck and don’t know where they are going to come from,” said Karen Nuchols.

Nuchols and her father caught a coyote just feet away from their home on surveillance, they believe the coyote killed one of their cats and injured another.

“It makes me tear up,” Nuchols explained. “Those are dads babies.”

Nuchols says it is important for the community to know whats happening, so they will keep a close eye on their animals and think about their own personal safety.

The VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says there are ways to prevent coyotes from being a problem from some communities:

  • If you are feeding wildlife, stop. This will cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.
  • Keep trash inside until the morning of trash pick-up or place trash in an animal proof container, such as a metal trashcan with latches on the lids.
  • Do not leave pet food outside; keep pet feeding areas clean.
  • Remove bird feeders when problem species have been seen around them.
  • Close up all openings under and into your buildings. Animals look for places to den and raise their young – don’t give them that opportunity.
  • Clear fallen fruit from around trees.
  • Keep brushy areas in your yard cut down to prevent cover for coyotes.
  • Keep small pets inside and on a leash when outside; they may be viewed by a coyote as prey. Larger dogs are viewed as a threat particularly from January to June while mating and birthing pups.
  • Pass along this information to your neighbors. If anyone in the neighborhood is feeding wildlife directly, or indirectly, it can cause trouble for everybody.
  • Install coyote proof fencing to protect unsupervised pets.
  • It is illegal in the State of Virginia to trap and relocate an animal to another area.
  • Contact your local health department if animal exhibits signs of rabies such as stumbling, foaming at the mouth or aggression.
  • There is no state bounty for coyotes; contact your county administrator’s office to see if there is a local bounty.

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