Cayote sighting in Walnut Grove

There were two cayote sightings today in Walnut Grove. A few important things to remember (from WI Humane Society): 

Coyotes are versatile, intelligent and adaptable to most habitats. Ironically, the qualities that have enabled the coyote to survive have now made it one of the most persecuted animals in the United States. However, the coyote’s bad rap is undeserved. They actually play an important role in the ecosystem and do not pose a serious risk to humans.

Keeping Coyotes at a Distance

Coyotes are drawn to urban and suburban neighborhoods for two reasons: human encroachment into native habitat and the availability of food. Take the following steps to prevent coyotes from being attracted to your home:

  • When composting, use enclosed bins rather than exposed piles. Avoid adding dog or cat waste, meat, milk or eggs to compost.
  • If you have fruit trees, pick the ripe fruit and keep fallen fruit off the ground.
  • Clear bushes and weeds away from your home. Dense vegetation provides attractive habitat for animals on whom coyotes prey.

Keeping Companion Animals Safe

Cats and small dogs may be seen as prey to the coyote, while larger dogs could be injured in a confrontation. To avoid these situations consider the following:

  • Keep companion animals in at night. Coyotes are primarily nocturnal.
  • Keep cats indoors where they are also safe from cars, other animals and from getting lost.
  • Don’t leave pet food outside.
  • Spay or neuter your dogs. Coyotes are attracted to and can mate with unsterilized domestic dogs.
  • Walnut Grove also recommends putting dogs on a leashes. 

Coyote Encounters

Coyotes are usually wary of humans and will avoid people whenever possible. Aggressive behavior toward people is not normal and is most often a result of habituation due to feeding by humans. If you encounter a coyote, remember the following:

  • Never feed or attempt to “tame” a coyote.
  • Avoid direct eye contact.
  • Do not turn your back or run.
  • Attempt to leave the area calmly.
  • If followed, make loud noises and make yourself look big. If this fails, throw rocks or sticks in the direction of the coyote. 

Please continue to document any cayote sightings at the following website: http://uwurbancanidproject.weebly.com/reporting-an-observation.html

Please contact WGHA if you have any questions or concerns. Your safety, and the safety of your animals, are paramount. 

Reminder: Dog owner responsibilities 

Summer is in full swing and our K-9 friends are loving it! A friendly reminder to keep dogs leashed – for everyone’s protection. 

A few exceptions to the leash rule are:

  • When you and your furry friend are at the off-leash dog exercise park
  • If you have a physical fence or operational electronic fence; preventing your dog from leaving your private property 

For more information, please visit the Madison and Dane County Public Health website: http://www.publichealthmdc.com/environmental/animal/dog.cfm

Thank you and have a happy and safe summer! ­čî×