SANFORD, Fla. - A Sanford woman is upset after she believes a coyote killed her cat. She says this is the second time in six months it’s happened to her, but she believes she’s not alone.
"The scuffle must have happened here just out of sight," said Ashlee as she walked FOX 35’s Dave Puglisi through her backyard.
Ashlee showed FOX 35 Ring camera video of her 14-year-old, three-legged cat Cordelia walking around the side of her house right around midnight. Moments later Ashlee heard a scuffle and believes her cat was attacked by a coyote.
"We searched for five hours and drove the neighborhood, but she’s gone," said Ashlee.
Unfortunately, she believes other neighbors have dealt with the same problem in their neighborhood on South Mellonville Avenue.
"I have neighbors that tell me they’ve seen them. They’ve had pets go missing less than a mile radius," said Ashlee.
Ashlee says she has reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC), but they told her there is nothing they can do.
The FWC considers coyotes native wildlife to Florida and important to the ecosystem. Although, they can be relocated or hunted if they are considered a nuisance, but it’s the homeowner’s responsibility.
"There’s really nothing in place to do anything about these pests and that I needed to either trap it myself and dispose of it somehow or hire a private trapper," said Ashlee.
FWC as well as local animal services say coyotes don’t like being around people and tend to encroach on homes in search of food. They suggest walking pets on a short leash and make lots of noise if you see one.
"If the coyote can’t find food. If the coyote gets alarm type sounds when they come near your home chances are they’re not going to come near your home anymore," said Seminole County Director of emergency management animal services division Alan Harris.
Ashlee doesn’t feel trapping a few coyotes in her community will be enough to stop them from coming around. She’d like the state to consider putting more resources into coyote trapping or a bounty program to help in residential neighborhoods.