Coyotes are roaming for food, which prompts police to put city residents on alert

KETTERING — An attempt by a couple of coyotes to bust into a home in Kettering, and the fact that it’s mating season for the canines lasts through March, has prompted the city’s police department to put residents on alert.

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News Center 7 was allowed to copy ring cam footage of two coyotes recently slamming into the back door of a home that has a glass insert. Apparently startled by the rejection, the two animals scurried off into the rear yard and out of camera range.

This is the time of year coyotes -- usually 25 to 30 pounds, with long hair and bushy tails -- are mating, raising pups and looking for food such as rabbits, rodents and fruits, the Kettering Police Department said this week in a letter to residents. Mating season is January through March and a pair will den with pups for about six weeks and raise them until fall. This is why more coyotes have been seen during daylight, searching for food and habitat, according to the department.

“We’ve seen ‘em across the street,” Mark, a Kettering resident, told News Center 7′s Malik Patterson.

Coyotes are highly unlikely to attack people, but the department is advising everyone to watch their children, dogs and pets.

They and other wildlife have become more prevalent in the city and surrounding communities and the department has been monitoring activity, working toward resolution and educating citizens.

While it is illegal to kill, poison, trap or relocate coyotes, residents should take precautions to keep their pets safe and also learn how to “haze” the animals.

“Hazing is a method that uses deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourages an undesirable behavior or activity,” according to the police department. “Hazing can help maintain coyotes’ fear of humans and deter them from neighborhood spaces such as backyards.”

Hazing could include yelling, waving arms in order to look big, banging pts and pans, spraying a hose or super soaker or using whistles or air horns.

“Make sure the animal can get away from you and NEVER [sic] haze or approach a sick or injured animal,” the police department said in the letter.

Mark, a dog owner, said his animals love the outdoors.

“We let them out every night,” he said. " That’s when we really, you know, very watchful, we got a big flashlight.”

The communication from the police department is a good move for those who are unaware of the dangers, such as Rick Hartley.

“I’m glad you told me about this or keep our eyes open now’ he said to News Center 7′s Patterson. “But I’m not too worried about where I am.”

Here are other general rules the police department wants residents to know:

+ Never feed wildlife

+ Do not run if approached by a coyote

+ Dogs should be walked on a 6-foot leash or kept in coyote-proof fencing (6-feet high with reinforced bottom and coyote rollers along the top)

+ Keep your yard free of debris and trach; Keep grills clean; Freeze potentially foul-smelling trash before discarding.

+ Compost in containers with lids

+ DO NOT leave food or pet food outside

+ Use motion sensor lighting and/or sprinklers

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