Coyotes could be to blame for missing pets

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – People in one Albuquerque neighborhood say dogs and cats are disappearing and they have a theory about what’s to blame – coyotes.

“The ones in the area here don’t seem to be afraid of people,” Chrystal Tarter said.

Coyotes call the West Mesa home. And so does Tarter, who’s lived in Ventana Ranch for the last six years.

“We have a neighbor where they’ve jumped into her yard and taken her cat, torn up her cat,” Tarter said.

Tarter says this year is different than years past and coyotes are coming around a lot more often.

“She was sitting in her house and the coyote just jumped over the fence and took the cat right from the yard.”

The neighborhood is bustling with people, kids, cats and dogs.

A mother of seven, Gina Menicucci says she came face to face with a coyote in her own backyard, chasing someone’s cat.

“It was crazy to see a coyote that close to the house and so near where my kids are playing all the time,” Menicucci said.

The Ventana Ranch Homeowner’s Association sent out an alert to neighbors, warning them to keep their pets safe because coyotes are around and it’s easy for them to jump fences.

Neighbors think coyotes may be to blame for some missing pets.

“Bring in the pets, bring in your cats, especially,” Tarter said.

“I’m seeing more posters being posted over by the mailboxes and things like that,” Menicucci said.

With the northwest Albuquerque neighborhood being so close to the open desert, Menicucci says there isn’t much that can be done other than keeping eyes open.

“When they’re getting this close to our families and our little ones, it’s just not safe.”

KRQE News 13 spoke to New Mexico Game and Fish and they say they haven’t seen a big increase in coyotes in that part of the city, however, this is the time of year when coyotes begin having babies, thus needing more food.

The homeowner’s association is asking people to keep not only their pets inside, but their food, too. It’s also a good idea to keep trash put away.

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