Coyotes threaten pets north of Ballard

SEATTLE — Coyotes live in a neighborhood just north of Ballard – it’s an area where people are saying they’re seeing more coyotes, and that the animals are even attacking their pets.

KIRO7 cameras caught coyotes on camera at 90th and 24th  about 10 feet away from the road, near the Blue Ridge/Sunset Hill neighborhood. The park is next to an elementary school.

It has people in this area worried about safety -  especially for their pets.

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Avril McDowell almost lost her eight-year-old cat, Georgia, a couple of weeks ago after what she believes was a coyote attack.

“She had a bite mark out of her ear, and subsequently I discovered she had claw marks all throughout her ribs and abdomen,” McDowell said. “It was very upsetting, very disturbing.”

McDowell says she sees an uptick in the number of posts about coyote sightings on the Nextdoor app. Another photo of a coyote was posted Tuesday.

“It’s been in the last six months with the neighborhood postings that we've seen, and also seeing them on the street,” McDowell said.

KIRO7 spotted two coyotes just inside North Beach Park. It has a mom who lives around the corner, concerned.

“I've never seen a coyote running around my neighborhood, so I'm so scared, I'm so shocked,” said Etsuko Watanaka.

Steve Schmidt also lives in the area and frequently walks with his dog.

“You’ll see coyotes running up the street away from the green belt or back to the green belt,” Schmidt said.

He says he welcomes the coyotes.

“I'm glad they're here, I think it's a nice thing. Makes life interesting,” he said.

But knowing his neighbor had a cat disappear  –Steve takes precautions with his own cat.

“She comes in after sunset and she stays in, because we don't want her to become coyote feed,” Schmidt said.

As for Georgia's close call, after a stint at the vet, she's healed enough to go back to playing. But now, only inside.

“With all the reports we’ve seen, and seeing the coyotes in the neighborhood, we cannot risk having her outside. We need to keep her safe,” McDowell said.

And she’s warning others.

“Be very cautious with your small pets, and even your small children,” she said.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife says coyotes are in almost every neighborhood and sightings haven't been uncommon, since traps were banned in the year 2000.

The department says the best thing to do is to keep your cats inside and keep dogs on shorter leashes.

It says no organization keeps record of how often coyotes are sighted, but you can always call Fish and Wildlife, and they’ll give you advice on a case-by-case basis.