By Jeff Todd
ERIE, Colo. (CBS4) – A homeowners association sent out a warning about coyotes to residents living in the Creekside community in Erie.
The group says coyotes have killed 11 pets in the town, and there have been 40 attacks.
Town officials are working with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife to protect pets and warn residents.
The attacks haven’t just been on small dogs, but also large dogs at all hours of the day.
Traps are now set up around an Erie Elementary school to try and catch a few aggressive coyotes that have been killing dozens of pets in a nearby neighborhood.
CBS4 has learned 36 dogs have been killed around the area of Telleen Avenue and Jasper Road. Some dogs have been up to 45 pounds, but wildlife officials are quick to say non-lethal traps are only being set because the coyotes have become responsive to human behavior.
In one case, a coyote chased a dog through a dog door and into a house. Officials say other coyotes are being fed by humans.
CPW wants to emphasize people should never feed coyotes, protect pets especially around dusk and dawn, and to haze coyotes if they come near humans by yelling or throwing things at them.
“Anytime they’re out here now, I’m out here with them,” said Bob Lawson about his corgis Reagan and Sadie.
Lawson doesn’t walk his dogs anymore, and only lets them roam the backyard if he’s watching them.
“I’ve got a couple hatchets sitting on the fence and that’s what I’ll throw at them,” he said. “I want to get rid of the coyotes. The city has caused the problems building homes and now they need to address it.”
CPW and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are overseeing the trappings.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.