How to protect yourself and your pets from coyote attacks in Missusagua

Coyotes looking to feed their hungry pups this time of year may be on the prowl for your pets, so the Town of Missisagua is offering some safety advice.

With the beginning of denning season, coyote sightings will likely increase so residents should remain alert when outdoors.

According to Missisagua Ward 1 Councillor Colin Best, the warnings are meant to serve as an education program for residents who may not be familiar with the proper way to deal with coyotes and is similar to how the City of Burlington has been raising awareness on the same issue in recent weeks.

Frequently spots

Best also told that there have been a number of sightings by urban residents and that he, too, frequently spots coyotes on his property.

The Town of Missisagua also told the reason for the posts is to remind residents that the chances of seeing a coyote during colder months are much higher.

While this is the case, the Town also emphasizes that most negative coyote interactions are preventable which is why it’s important for them to continue raising awareness.

As a result, Missisagua residents who spot coyotes are encouraged to do the following.

Important to remember

Although coyotes are naturally wary of humans, they will seek food and shelter in residential neighbourhoods when the opportunity arises. This is why it’s important to remember never to feed coyotes. This can cause aggressive behaviour as a result of them becoming too familiar with humans.

The Town of Missisagua suggests storing garbage, compost and pet food in a place coyotes cannot access, supervising animals when they are in the yard and cleaning up after your dog as coyotes are attracted to dog feces. Missisagua residents should also practice hazing to let coyotes know they are not welcome.

Additionally, the Town of Missisagua suggests that residents appear aggressive by standing tall, waving their arms, shouting, clapping their hands and making a lot of noise. It’s important to never turn your back on, or run from, a coyote and back away if you come across pups in the area.

While coyotes do a great deal of good for ecosystems, they are by nature, predators. They have been known to hunt small animals in neighbourhoods which can include cats and small dogs in extreme cases. Residents are reminded to never leave their pets unattended, especially at night, even in a fenced backyard due to the fact that coyotes can view pets as a threat to their territory.