Sandy coyote attacks on the rise; multiple owners with lost pets

Sep 5, 2023, 6:13 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm

SANDY, Utah — A warning for residents on Sandy’s east bench as wildlife officials see an increase in Coyote activity.

“Over the past week we’ve seen an uptick, we’ve had 3-4 cats killed by coyotes,” said Ian Williams, Director of Animal Services for Sandy City. “Though it happens throughout the year, that many in succession is a little uncommon.”

Most of the coyote attacks have occurred in neighborhoods close to Dimple Dell Regional Park.

“Being that it’s an undeveloped park we do encounter a lot of wildlife; it’s home to deer, coyote, occasionally a mountain lion will come down through that area,” said Williams.

Sandy residents are being asked to take precautions by keeping small pets indoors, especially at night. Williams also suggests removing any excess food in pet bowls left outdoors.

“Don’t leave excess food in the food dishes in the backyard, they’ll attract some of that wildlife that you don’t want in your yard, and you want to minimize the chance of that encounter with wildlife,” he said.

A chance encounter is one reason Lorin Pugh walks Dimple Dell Regional Park four to five times a week.

“I’ve seen the coyotes twice, both times was in the middle of the day which surprised me,” said Pugh.

Pugh walks with his dog Luna, and while he does worry about her safety, he keeps her on a leash close by.

“She stays absolutely right by me, which makes it safer,” he said.

It’s unknown how many coyotes are in the Dimple Dell area. Coyotes are not tracked or surveyed, according to DWR. If you come in contact with a coyote, DWR suggests yelling, throwing rocks, banging on things, or spraying it with water.

“We share this space with wildlife,” said Williams. “Sandy is where urban meets mountain and so were going to have wildlife with our community and we have to learn to live and balance keeping them out of our yards best we can while taking care of our pets and allowing them to co-exist with us.”

“I think were in their territory and if I get to see a wild animal while I’m out that makes my day,” said Pugh.

More information on coyotes in Utah and how to stay safe can be found on Wild Aware Utah.

Correction: An earlier version inaccurately said coyotes are protected wildlife; they are not protected.

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Sandy coyote attacks on the rise; multiple owners with lost pets