Images from game camera serve as warning for pet owners

Images from an Austin game camera capture a harrowing game of cat and mouse involving a dog and coyote. The incident happened earlier this month on Matagorda, just off of I-35 and Oltorf. 

The little dog had briefly escaped from his yard.

He was able to escape the coyote when neighbors heard the commotion and intervened. “There was hardly any injuries at all, and one of our officers actually picked the dog up after a neighbor called it in.” said Sarah Whitson, an Animal Protection Officer with the City of Austin.  

Whitson says encounters like the one captured on camera, are not rare this time of year. Denning season generally lasts from April to November -- that’s when coyotes have pups in their dens. “They’re gonna be more active during the day. They’re gonna be hunting for food. Sometimes, they do look for larger prey because they’re supporting more mouths to feed, and that involves smaller dogs and cats.” 

Whitson says coyotes don’t naturally seek out cats and dogs, they only go after them when the opportunity presents itself. “Keep your pets on a leash, haze those coyotes during the day when you see them and limit attractants in your yard. If you have compost -- a garden a fruit tree, make sure that you’re aware that these attractants will draw predators like coyotes.” 

If you do see a coyote, in an area you don’t want it to frequent, like your yard, Whitson says you should encourage it to leave. You can do that by making yourself appear larger, and yelling.

Then she suggests calling 3-1-1 to report the sighting.