Residents in Acadiana have seen a recent spike in coyote activity; some just hear them howl, others have lost pets to the wild animals.
“Usually you’ll see them about evening hours. Five, six o’clock in the afternoon, that’s when you’ll start to see them up until eight, nine o’clock at night,” says Shelly Delahoussaye, supervisor for the Lafayette Animal Shelter.
She adds that it’s no surprise coyote are out around homes this time of year, “Coyotes come out this season and then they leave usually around the winter time.”
Because of this trend, the Lafayette Animal Shelter & Care Center, formerly known as Lafayette Animal Control, had a few of its officers trained to better handle coyotes.
“We had Harold Renfro from the Desoto Parish Animal Shelter come. He came for a week and took our field supervisor and two other ACOs and came and did the training with us,” explained Delahoussaye.
She says this training helped them become more proactive when it comes to helping people who have coyotes coming onto their property, “He taught us how to make snares, how to set snares, coyote trapping. He gave us a run-down on just coyote behavior and their patterns.”
Delahoussaye tells me they also learned how people can try to protect themselves and their property from coyotes. Some of the most notable points:
- Avoid feeding pets outside. If you do so, feed them and remove the food bowl as soon as your pet has finished.
- Keep trash in containers with tight fitting lids.
- Watch your pets. Keep cats indoors and never leave small dogs outside unsupervised.
- Protect outdoor animals with fencing and make sure they are in sturdy cages or pens each evening.
Here’s a full look at information provided by the animal shelter on how to deal with coyotes: