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Cats being targeted by wild animals -- possibly coyotes -- in southwest Houston

Saturday, August 03, 2013

What is lurking in one southwest Houston neighborhood? Residents aren't 100 percent sure, but they know that whatever it is, it is dangerous to their pets and children.

Several pets have been killed and residents believe the problem is coyotes. The coyotes are believed to be coming from a bayou area just behind a row of homes in that area. They're striking at night and killing cats.

Jo Javier spends many evenings outside with her pooch, Pippa. But word of possible coyote attacks on her street are terrifying.

"That's very concerning because I have a 10-year-old daughter, too, so it's not just pets," she said.

One of Javier's neighbors captured images from his home-surveillance video. A suspected coyote killed three of his cats this week and two more in the neighborhood.

"It's exceedingly rare," said Christopher Newport, spokesperson for the city of Houston's animal control department.

Newport says so far this year, they've received 18 reports of possible coyote sightings, which is on par with previous years. Most are located in southwest Houston, as well as in the Kingwood and Memorial areas.

"Nearly all of them occur along bayous, which are really like highways for wild animals," Newport said.

"It's kind of scary knowing that they're around," concerned resident Jacob Stockton said.

Pet owners like Javier are now watching out for their animals and for each other.

"I'm gonna be a little bit more cautious about where I am so that I don't get hurt," Stockton said.

"I won't be bringing her outside as often as I'm doing right now until we get to the bottom of this situation," Javier said.

Authorities suggest that residents keep cats indoors or in fenced area and not leave pet food or trash bins outside.

To report a coyote sighting, call 311. The city's Rabies Control Authority will investigate.

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