Homeowners fed up with coyotes in neighborhood

August 9, 2012 4:29:32 PM PDT
People in one southwest Houston neighborhood are fed up with coyotes that they say have been preying on their pets.

It's happening at the Brayswood Place neighborhood near Edloe and Tartan, and now residents who live in that area are taking action.

Brays Bayou is quiet by day. But when the sun goes down, the animals that forage along its banks come out in search of food. And for the past few years, that means coyotes.

"We were coming back one night from dinner around 9 or 9:30 one night and two of them were casually crossing Stella Link; didn't seem nervous or afraid of traffic," homeowner Tim Hebert said.

Coyotes are not newcomers to the Inner Loop. Several years ago, there were reports of a coyote in Bellaire, more in Memorial Park and River Oaks.

There were no reports of the coyotes showing aggression toward people, but domestic animals, such as small dogs and cats, are another matter. In the past two years, some 20 cats have been killed in this one neighborhood. That number includes Fred, whose owner could never coax him inside the house. Fred lived outdoors. He was found dead a few months ago, and his owner, Jean Miller, believes a coyote was responsible.

"Plus we've seen all the reports around here and the pictures, and I've got a night-vision camera, but I haven't caught anything on the camera yet," Miller said.

After all the pet deaths, people now want the coyotes gone. The question is how. It's illegal to fire a gun so they can't be shot inside the city limits. Animal control agencies can't trap them, and there are too few state game wardens to track them.

So the homeowners will decide Wednesday night on what to do.

"If we can pay a bunch of money to have 'em trapped and then what happens? Nobody wants to have 'em killed. Well I don't want to have 'em killed, we just want to have them removed," Hebert said.

Coyotes aren't unique inside the Inner Loop, the city of Houston or even Harris County. They're everywhere, especially where bayous are. The best recommendation is to try to keep pets inside at night.

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