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Decatur Residents Angry About Coyotes

East Parkwood Road residents plan to attend Dec. 5 city commission meeting.

Decatur residents are complaining about coyotes in their neighborhood again.

Residents of the East Parkwood Road neighborhood plan to attend the Dec. 5 Decatur City Commission meeting to urge the city to do something to control the wild canines in their neighborhood.

Some residents want the city to consider eradicating the coyotes, though the city urges coexistence. Trapped coyotes must be euthanized under state law.

Coyotes are an ongoing concern. Back in February, residents of the Lenox Place neighborhood voiced the same complaint.

Christy Kenney Bosarge of the East Parkwood Road area said a coyote attacked her cat, Zaya, the morning of Oct. 31 near the family’s front door.

“I was sitting at the window,” Bosarge told WSB-TV. “I heard a noise that sounded like a confrontation with my cat – you know, a dog and cat screaming – so within seconds, I went out the front door.”

Bosarge said she screamed and chased the coyote away, but the cat died. Other neighbors have reported run-ins with coyotes, she said.

Decatur officials say coyotes exist throughout metro Atlanta and that people should learn to live with the animals. A Stanley Park Ecology Society study posted on the city website says:
 

Eradication programs in North American cities have proven to be expensive failures. While eradication may remove (kill) individual animals, the coyote habitat remains and will be filled by other coyotes. Trapping and poisoning programs are not practical in urban areas because they cannot discriminate between coyotes, children, pets and other wildlife. These programs expose all of them to the same risk.

Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss told WSB-TV that the city offers tips on coexisting with the coyotes, such as keeping all cat and dog food inside.

“For the folks who are very concerned about the coyotes and would like them trapped, there is an equal number who believe the natural environment should be protected,” Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss told the TV station.

But Bosarge is urging a more proactive approach. In a letter to the neighborhood, Bosarge said her concerns are that:

1)   We do not have a system for keeping up with the impact coyotes are having in our community. 

2)   We do not have an effective educational program in place that informs current and new community members

a)   that the coyotes exist and

b)    what we all individually should be doing to minimize their presence in our neighborhoods

3)   Coyotes have already become even more invasive and threatening in northern metro Atlanta communities than what we are experiencing here in the Decatur area.

4)   There is no plan to control or manage the presence of coyotes in our community.

The city commission meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in city hall.

david November 22, 2011 at 07:20 PM
I suggest taking target practice at these critters. Build a few tree houses in and around your yards, put your cats and very small dogs outside as bait, and then sit and wait. Can't expect the govt. to take care of your every need. animal control your own yard.
Jennifer C. November 22, 2011 at 08:40 PM
I think the local governments should begin to think about a sustainable solution to this new threat. I hate to even think of feral cats dying at the teeth of a coyote, and while I disgaree with keeping domestic cats outside, I still sympathize with the woman in the article who lost her cat. I don't think the conversation should end since other efforts in other cities were costly and ineffective. So what? Are they only as smart as the last failed effort? Don't we pay them to generate solutions that only government can harness?
Monty November 25, 2011 at 01:10 PM
For Ms. Armistead to say Ms. Borsage is a bad pet owner and that all cats should be kept inside is mean and pretty narrow minded. Would you keep your kids inside because there are weird mean people running freely in our neighborhoods who might snatch them? Besides, the cat was right at the woman's front door! Yes we can take steps to not encourage the coyotes, but the fact is, they are aggressive animals who don't belong in city neighborhoods. I don't understand why they can't be trapped and relocated to the Georgia mountains. This coyote problem is too similar to the pack of dogs that roamed our neighborhoods - led by a red chow - and killed one of my cats as well as many others. City of Decatur animal control basically threw up it's hands and said oh well. And don't think you get any support on animal control except Monday through Friday between 9 and 4. Another big oh well we can't do anything about it. Heck - they don't even send the street sweeper on my street because - get this - "it's inconvenient for them". Another city support service we pay high taxes for that we do not receive the benefit of the actual service.
George Blau December 07, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Domestic cats belong in the house. They are not a native species. There are ordinances against letting them run free. If your cat gets eaten by a coyote, it is your fault. In Medlock Park there are numerous cats out every day & night & they are killing native animals. You can be sure that your loose cat is out killing wild birds, chipmunks, lizards & anything else it can catch. More than once, I have seen a pet cat kill a squirrel, & leave it uneaten in my yard.
Cynthia L. Armistead December 07, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Monty, you are speaking out of ignorance. Wild animals cannot be relocated - they do not survive. It's illegal to even attempt to do so. Once a coyote is trapped, it must be killed. So if you want to allow a cat or small dog outside at all, you'd best do so in a highly protected enclosure. A high, sturdy fence surrounding your yard for dogs, with the addition of one of those screened "cat yards" for felines, might be enough, although I wouldn't swear to it. It would be a start. I would still supervise them with a weapon at hand, since small animals are a coyote's natural prey. Please note, however, that in a lifetime of being the owner of happy, health felines, I've never found it necessary to allow a cat to go outside. They certainly don't need it. As much as I adore cats, Mr. Blau is absolutely correct regarding their habits. If I had small children, I'd have a fenced-in yard and supervise them while they were in it, as well. It's simply good parenting practice for many reasons, the least of which are coyotes.

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