TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- For 23 years, Sharon Gaylord enjoyed the wildlife in her backyard. She’s used to seeing rabbits, opossums, raccoons, and armadillos, but recently they’ve been scarce.
- Titusville homeowner warns of coyotes near neighborhood
- Coyotes killed two of her pet cats
- Coyotes seen in all 67 Florida counties
Two weeks ago her two-year-old cat Noddle’s fur was found in the backyard, at first Gaylord thought it was a bobcat or a bird of prey that ate her pet. Two weeks later on Aug. 16, her nine-year-old cat Moe’s fur was found in the front lawn.
Gaylord looked at her surveillance video and saw the unthinkable; a pack of coyotes attacked her cat around 3 a.m. She said it was heartbreaking to see the last moments of her long-term pet's life.
“He was so old, I was hoping Moe was going to die of old age and not like this,” she explains.
Gaylord wants residents in the Sun Valley Street area to be extra vigilant. After calling FWC, they told her coyotes travel in packs, and removing them with traps are an expensive alternative, which might not even work because populations will return.
What Gaylord didn’t know until the coyote attack, is that they are native to North America and have been in Florida for many years. According to the FWC website, they’ve been spotted in all 67 counties.
“If people with kids walk out, people go jogging in the morning, some walk small dogs! I would hate to see something happen to them. I don’t think a lot of people know there are coyotes. We sure didn’t,” adds Gaylord.
Now, her house is equipped with motion detector lights and surveillance video to watch out for a pet threat she never knew was lurking. She also locks her cats inside the house at night.
According to FWC website, most coyote attacks on pets occur either at night or in the early evening or morning hours. To find out more about coyotes and what should you do if you spot one, click here.