Coyotes prowling Highlands Ranch neighborhood, attacking -- and killing -- pets

Officials: Coyotes are more aggressive in spring

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. - Coyotes have been on the prowl in a Highlands Ranch neighborhood, attacking -- and killing -- pets, according to residents.

"There was one staple on the outside of his leg," Laura Beil said, showing the place where her dog, Mac, was bitten two weeks ago.

She said he was on a leash as they walked the Highline Canal trail, when a coyote came up from behind and attacked.

His leg is still recovering, but at least Mac survived. A few houses down, where a neighbor's home backs up to open space, a dog had to be put down after it was attacked through the back fence by a coyote.

"They're brazen," said Anne McMahon, a neighbor who said everyone is talking about the problem.  "They come right up to the fence, and I know that if our dog were out -- guess what? -- the dog would be gone."

"We are hearing from people that there has been an increase in coyote activity," said Randy Hampton, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Hampton said coyotes are more aggressive during April and May. They are denning, having their pups and they become more protective and sometimes more visible.
 
"But the other reality is these are open spaces where wildlife is desired," said Hampton. "So, coyotes are going to den there. They have a right to that space too."
 
Hampton recommends people always walk their dogs on a leash, don't feed the coyotes and if you see them, haze them -- make noise and throw rocks -- so they maintain a healthy fear of humans.