Bedford Animal Services recently received a report of a coyote attacking a small dog near Bedford Road, south of S.H. 183. In addition, there was an instance of a close encounter between a coyote and a resident walking their dog a mile away from where the pet was attacked.
Even though coyotes have been in this area for decades and typically keep their distance from humans, this is their breeding season and resident sightings of coyotes have increased.
The following precautions can help people and coyotes to safely co-exist.
- Never intentionally feed wildlife.
- Don’t feed wildlife accidentally. Coyotes are opportunistic omnivores and will readily exploit any potential source of food. Because coyotes frequently eat rodents, anything that attracts rodents can also attract coyotes. Keep pet food and water inside. Keep garbage securely stored, especially if it is put on the curb for collection.
- To keep pets safe, it is imperative that pet-owners do not allow their pets to roam freely.
- Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night.
- Do not panic if you see a coyote. A sighting of a coyote acting appropriately and non-aggressively does not require a response.
- If a coyote frequents an area, show them that they are not welcome. “Hazing” a coyote, or showing it signs of aggression each time it is seen, will usually discourage its presence and helps to re-establish its fear of humans. Use noise making and other scaring devices when coyotes are seen. Portable air horns, vehicle horns, and whistles can be effective. You can also throw an object, such as a tennis ball, near the animal without the intent to injure it.
These methods have proven highly successful in residential areas where coyotes and bobcats become too comfortable around humans. Bedford Animal Services works closely with a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologist, who has been informed of these reports. Anyone who has information regarding individuals feeding wildlife to call 817-952-2191. A citation may be issued to anyone in violation of the wildlife feeding ordinance. For additional coyote and bobcat safety tips, please visit www.bedfordtx.gov/wildlife.