Part of the Bay Area News Group

Coyotes seen in Danville yard. Homeowners worried about their dog & cat

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 at 7:13 am in Cats, Coyote attacks, coyotes, dogs.

Coyote at end of driveway next to the family car. Photo by Rick Fiset, Danville, CA
rick fiset coyote2

We live on the west side of Danville near Las Trampas Park. Sunday morning a bunch of turkeys gobbling through our yard woke us up about 7 a.m. They were making a lot of noise so my wife let our dog out and we could hear him barking and scattering the turkeys. Our dog Willie is a Border collie mix and he kept barking for about 5 minutes, so I went outside and called him. He was barking at the bottom of our driveway and I went down and opened the garage door and he came running back inside.

I was going back to bed but I happened to look our bathroom window and I saw this coyote pacing around behind a car at the bottom of our driveway where Willie had been. My wife and I watched him for about 30 minutes while he paced and circled behind the car and down behind a small retaining wall. Another coyote joined him/her and we watched, fascinated.

Coyote at end of driveway next to the family car. Photo by Rick Fiset, Danville, CA
rick fiset coyote1

They were both as big as German shepherds and they looked really well fed, not like a small, scraggly one we had seen several years ago.

We were able to take a couple of pictures which I have attached. In the third picture, the fuzzy one I shot through the bathroom window you can make out the coyote just over the top of the car, where he was hiding.

Looking at coyote through a bathroom window and curtain. It’s just over the top of the red car. Photo by Rick Fiset, Danville, CA
rick fiset coyote3

We couldn’t figure out what they were doing until it dawned on us that they were laying in wait for Willie to return. This is pretty scary for us. Needless to say Willie and our cat Eddie are inside for a couple of weeks until we are secure they won’t be back.

Our dogs have had free run of our yards for the 25+ years we have lived in our house and we were wondering if you might have any advice on when it may be safe to let them out again? Thanks.
Rick Fiset, Danville

Coyote on Mount Diablo. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA

There are a LOT of coyotes in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in Contra Costa County roaming around Mount Diablo and the surrounding foothills. They normally prey on wild rodents (gophers, mice, brush rabbits, jackrabbits), quail and other small birds, etc. BUT, there are a lot of feral cats roaming around out there and they have also become prey for the coyotes.

At night, some coyotes will come into town and prowl around the neighborhoods while we humans are asleep. Pet cats that are allowed to roam around outside at night are often caught and eaten by these curious coyotes as they explore our yards. Small dogs that are left outside at night are occasionally attacked in their yards.

I am a strong advocate for keeping our pet cats inside as indoor cats and not allowing them to roam around outside, especially at night. My own two cats are indoor cats. That keeps them from killing small birds and other wildlife. It also keeps them safe from prowling coyotes.

I think you’re wise to keep your pets inside for a couple of weeks to give these coyotes a chance to move on. After the two weeks is over, I’d keep your cat inside permanently. If you can’t do that, I would at least keep it inside at night when coyotes do most of their hunting. (They also sometimes hunt during the day but tend to stay away from human habitation during daylight hours.) I’d also keep your dog inside at night.

The fact that nothing has happened to your dogs in the 25 years you’ve lived there is a good sign. Just keep in mind that there’s also a first time for everything. Be cautious. /Gary

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

3 Responses to “Coyotes seen in Danville yard. Homeowners worried about their dog & cat”

  1. Carol Carson Says:

    Why would you let your dog out to attack the turkeys? They are practically flightless and are beautiful birds. Your dog could have killed one. How would you have felt then? Last week I say three in the road on the way to Big Basin and felt so lucky. Send them to Boulder Creek if you don’t want them, but please stop using lethal force just because an animal makes a sound.

  2. Janet Says:

    Turkeys are a whole lot quicker than most dogs. Surprisingly They are great flyers, I’ve seen one fly to the top of a tree that was easily 3 stries high. They’re also pretty good at defesive moves so I don’t think you have to worry too much about canine lethal force. Up in the foothills they come around in great numbers. maybe we should sent them all to you….

  3. Trish Says:

    Carol is a townie that doesn’t know much about wild animals. I moved to Danville 30 years ago when nobody knew where it was or had even heard of it. We loved being on acreage in the middle of nowhere.

    We’ve always given the wild animals respect and left them to their own devices. We didn’t have turkeys until an idiot from town moved out here and decided to ‘raise’ turkeys. He apparently was as clueless about them as Carol in thinking they were defenseless and didn’t fly.

    We now have been overrun with them. They’re noisy, dirty and yes they can fly. Maybe not like an eagle but enough to evade predators. Also, they get into your yard, on your house, your car, etc.

    They are a serious pain in the patoot and were brought in by a guy who didn’t know squat about the balance of nature. Oh did I mention once he failed at turkeys, he decided pheasants would do better? Same result. He introduced wildlife that didn’t belong and has become a pain.

    I don’t advocate killing them but believe protecting them is also out of the question. Let nature take it’s course and hopefully, the balance will come back to Danville wildlife.

    So far it’s been 15 years since this guy moved in down the road and we’re still dealing with an over population of birdlife he’s introduced. Sigh….what a boob.

Leave a Reply