Nature can be cruel.
Coyotes are attacking small dogs in the St. Louis metro area, and the Humane Society of Missouri issued a warning to owners Wednesday.
Coyotes are common throughout Missouri, and cold weather makes food scarce just before their breeding season. The humane society describes the coyotes as reddish- to grayish-brown, with a white belly and throat and black-tipped tails, weighing about 30 pounds.
Coyotes are scared of humans, but they're also highly adaptable and have been seen near populated areas, including St. Louis neighborhoods.
Here's how to keep your pets safe:
1. Coyotes can jump and dig. If your pets are outside, make sure your fence is at least 6 feet high and 6 inches deep.
2. Coyotes are afraid of humans, so clapping and waving can scare them off. Make yourself seem as large as possible.
3. Don't leave pet food outside. If you must leave food for stray cats, leave it only during the day.
4. Secure all trash cans so coyotes don't come hunting for your leftovers.
5. Keep your dog on a leash when walking outside.
6. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on rabies and distemper vaccinations.
7. In an emergency, call the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Hotline at 314-647-4400.
Because if you didn't have enough to worry about, now there are coyote attacks.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.