Canyon Lakes residents blame dead, missing pets on coyote attacks
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Grieving pet owners in the Canyon Lakes neighborhood are warning neighbors to keep pets inside after at least ten cats have gone missing.
They told Action News they think coyotes living in nearby foothills are to blame.
Geoff Harvey, whose cat disappeared a few months ago, said they've been told there's nothing they can do about the ongoing threat.
"I would imagine at least half the people in this neighborhood have animals of some sort," Harvey said.
In January, Harvey said he was sitting in his home when he heard commotion outside.
He checked the window, but didn't see anything.
After learning the family cat, Kitty, was outside, he checked the night's surveillance footage.
"And sure enough," he said. "The camera in the back picked up a coyote standing there. Luckily, I didn't actually see it taking the cat but, I saw [it] chasing her and that was enough."
Neighbor Matt Minter said his cat, Star, spent 30 minutes nibbling grass on the back porch each night.
But on February 16, a noise drew him to the patio door.
"I saw a coyote had her trapped underneath him," Minter recounted. "I opened the door, but the second I [did] he grabbed her in his mouth and took off running up the fairway."
Minter said he gave chase for as long as he could, but stopped after he saw the coyote had killed his friend.
"It's miserable, absolutely miserable," Minter said mournfully. "She's been in my life for 13 years, she's traveled with me for 13 years. She was trying to get back into the house. It breaks my heart, she was trying to find safety."
Minter said his neighbors are losing pets every other day, now.
Even folks with fenced yards.
Harvey said some of his neighbors worry about children getting hurt next.
The men said they asked the Department of Fish and Wildlife for help, but were told nothing could be done.
"There's not a lot we can do unless there's an imminent threat," Harvey said before adding, "If this isn't a threat I don't know what is."
So now he's sounding the alarm, warning folks who live near the hills south of Kennewick to take their pets inside if they can't be right next to them.
Because he was never warned.
"This is important," Harvey emphasized, "because I had no idea. Coyotes are stealthy, they've adapted quite well, and I think any small animal is at risk when they're out after sunset, so watch out."
Minter told Action News the community is holding a meeting to discuss the ongoing situation, and that Kennewick Mayor Pro Tem Steve Lee was invited to attend.
- When: 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.
- Where: Canyon Lakes Villas clubhouse, 3516 W. 36th Ave., Kennewick, Wash.