It’s the talk of the town on Facebook: recent photos of a coyote chasing a house cat in midtown Sacramento.
Sacramento resident Allyson Seconds captured the images near C and 25th streets on Feb. 7. She pulled her car over after seeing what she believed were stray dogs.
“When I saw they were coyotes, I grabbed my phone and took just these four shots of them running and jumping up at a tree,” Seconds said. “I didn’t realize it was a house cat they were after until I looked at the pictures.”
The cat is shown “narrowly escaping its demise,” said Seconds, whose photos raised concern on social media from local pet owners.
“The photos were terrifying,” one person commented on Facebook. “Two of them in daylight in front of someone’s house! I keep my cats indoors ALWAYS, but it’s good to be aware of my surroundings during the daytime if they are roaming at that time now.”
Jace Huggins, Chief Animal Control Officer for the Front Street Animal Shelter, said urban coyote sightings are common and not a cause for concern. However, people should take precautions to avoid interactions with coyotes.
• Owners of small pets should not allow them to wander. While coyotes are of little risk to people, they may kill rabbits, cats and small dogs for food.
• Keep trash cans sealed, pick up fruit in your yard, and don’t leave pet food outside.
• Coyotes should be left alone – never approach, touch, or feed a coyote. If residents feel a coyote is presenting a threat, they should yell and appear larger by waving their arms.
• If coyotes are acting aggressively towards a human, call 911. If a coyote seems sick or injured, call the City’s 311 call center to have an animal control officer dispatched.
Huggins said keeping coyotes away is a “neighborhood effort,” and the shelter will provide free training to any City of Sacramento neighborhood interested in deterring coyotes.
Seconds’ Facebook post has gained more than 400 comments, many of which expressed empathy for the coyotes’ shrinking habitats and migration to urban areas. Seconds said she hopes her photos can raise awareness. “We need to adapt right along with them,” she said.