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Coyote attacks dog in Pinson neighborhood

By Gary Lloyd

PINSON — A coyote attacked a small dog in Pinson last Sunday night.

Traci Pendarvis, who lives in the Innsbrooke subdivision near Pinson Valley High School, said she saw a coyote she believes weighs close to 60 pounds attack her neighbor’s Dachshund. The dog was squealing until Pendarvis yelled, making the coyote stop.

“Luckily, the dog is fine,” Pendarvis said.

The entrance to the Innsbrooke subdivision in Pinson
photo by Gary Lloyd

She said the coyote slowly moved away but kept watching her. She said the coyote seemed larger than others she’s seen.

“I’ve seen them for years, but they usually are in groups of at least three to five and never get close,” she said. “I’ve seen this lone coyote at least three times this spring/summer.”

Pendarvis said it’s “concerning” that the coyote attacked the dog. She said she’s reported the incident to Pinson City Hall and her neighbor is reporting it to the neighborhood’s HOA group.

Pinson Mayor Hoyt Sanders said the city has received reports of coyotes and feral hogs over the past several years, and “increasingly this year.” A 300-pound wild pig was killed in Pinson in August 2013 when it was hit by a car near Pinson Valley High School.

Sanders said he was checking with the Alabama Department of Conservation to confirm what municipalities may be empowered to do about the coyote problem. He said officials from the department came to Pinson City Hall several months ago. Hunting and wildlife are not regulated by municipalities in Alabama.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jack Self said he was not aware of any official reports to the sheriff’s office about coyote problems in the area.

A small coyote was spotted on a driveway in the Tutwiler Farm subdivision in Trussville on May 16 at around 10:30 p.m. Someone saw it run down driveway, stop in their back yard and just look back. Clay City Manager Ronnie Dixon said there have been no reports of coyotes in Clay.

A Clay resident, however, said that she had contacted Clay City Hall about coyotes in the area. After having seen one coyote walking in the street on several occasions, she finally decided to call Clay City Hall after a second, larger coyote was spotted in her back yard. She was told there had been several complaints about coyotes in the area and that the city had even contacted Animal Control, which told them “they don’t do coyotes,” she said.

“We have had several cats go missing over the years and I suspect some have met their fate to these coyotes,” the Clay resident said. “Since we had a large dog and these cats were not afraid of her, I doubt they would have realized the coyote was such a threat.”

She said she has yet to hear about what residents can do about the coyote problem. As an owner of small animals and a parent to children, this is a serious concern, she said, as these coyotes don’t seem to be too afraid to be around humans.

Alabama’s 13 reported on a coyote problem in Hoover in November 2013. The news station reported that Hoover police said it had received a number of calls from residents who had spotted coyotes. Alabama Cooperative Extension’s Andrew Baril told the news station that coyotes breed in February through March, and the pups stay with their parents until fall, when they go out and make their own way in the world.

Baril told Alabama’s 13 that the best way to protect yourself and your pets is to build a fence in your back yard. Baril provided other tips, such as not leaving food where wildlife can reach it and not encouraging any wild animals to approach you. If they do, don’t run away because they may chase you, Baril told the TV station.

Contact Gary Lloyd at news@trussvilletribune.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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