COLLEGE PARK, Fla. - A College Park woman says she encountered three coyotes while on a morning walk with her dog.
She sent a photo of the wild animals out to friends in the neighborhood to warn them. She says she spotted the coyotes Friday morning on the edge of the woods near the Dubsdread Golf Course.
“Two were sitting perfectly still like statues. One was pacing back and forth. All three were watching us,” said Anne Thorne. “I thought it was unusual that they didn’t run away when they saw us.”
Thorne says she decided to take her large dog in another direction.
“My dog doesn’t like other dogs even. I thought if he starts reacting, this could get ugly,” she said.
Pet owners have been on high alert in College Park for months.
Several homeowners have signs in their yards reminding people to keep small pets inside.
“I’m a pet owner. I am so heartbroken for people who have lost their pets,” said Paula Grant, who’s been helping spread the word about the coyotes' presence in her neighborhood.
She believes the coyote problem is very complex and is concerned that some want to kill the coyotes.
“They want a knee-jerk reaction and right now it’s hysteria,” Grant said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife told FOX 35 News that removing coyotes isn’t effective because of how fast they breed.
The community is now faced with a dilemma when it comes to protecting their pets.
“I don’t know the answer to it. But the answer has to be there and we have to find it,” Grant said.
Grant says she wants people to learn how to scare the coyotes away.
She and other neighbors will be meeting with experts in the next few weeks to come up with a plan.