Several residents say coyotes killed their cats in Atlantic Beach

Coyotes are killing cats in neighborhood

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. - People in Atlantic Beach say their cats are being killed by coyotes.

It was back in February, First Coast News reported on the rash of coyote sightings the city received: A half-dozen within a span of a few weeks.

The city held a meeting that month to address their concerns. Now one woman say she wants the city to do more.

"It's a visual that I can't get out of my head," said Jill Stanton.

Jill Stanton said she can only imagine what happened to her daughter's cat Holly after it disappeared seven days ago from the Selva Norte neighborhood in North Atlantic Beach.

"I know that someone didn't pick Holly up, I know that she didn't crawl away because she's sick, I know that there's no bones and there's no body and I know what happened. I know that a coyote ripped her from limb to limb and it's graphic," said Stanton.

Just down the street, Sandy Harmon said she's had two cats killed by coyotes back in September: Sammy and Toby. She's too afraid now to let her remaining cats outside.

After talking with neighbors, Jill said she believes close to a dozen cats have been killed.

She said she's contacted the city with her concerns and would like the city to step in to capture the coyotes and send them to a sanctuary.

Kevin Hogencamp, Atlantic Beach interim city manager, said the plan is to co-exist with the coyotes. In the meantime, he suggests to keep pets indoors and to not leave out pet food, which may be attracting the coyotes.

"We hope that those people who think that their animals or pets have been attacked by coyotes, we hope they'll contact us with some really good information. That information will help us as we continue to monitor this issue," said Hogencamp.

A spokesperson with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that trapping coyotes often does not work because they are hard to catch. If coyotes do get trapped, new ones will take their place.

Residents are free to hire their own trappers, the spokesperson said. The city made the decision not to trap based off advice from Florida fish and wildlife officials, however they say the decision is not final.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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