Proverbs 12:10

"The righteous one is caring for the soul of his domestic animal." Proverbs 12:10

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Coyotes in Metrolina Area - protect your pets, protect yourself

February 16, 2012 update: click here: report a coyote sighting to make an official report with the Natural Resources division of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation - Dog Reporter Debbie

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control would like to address recent concerns regarding coyote sightings in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. While we are not the responding agency in the management of wildlife; we do understand the concern and wish to offer safety tips, educational information and guidance to direct the citizens of Mecklenburg County to the correct resources that handle wildlife management.

Coyotes fall under the jurisdiction of North Carolina Wildlife Commission. If you have questions concerning coyotes please contact North Carolina Wildlife Commission at 919-707-0030 or 919-707-0050. North Carolina Wildlife Commission has a biologist assigned to Mecklenburg County. North Carolina Wildlife will contact the biologist if there is a reason for concern. They will not respond to a coyote sighting, as they are indigenous to this area and it is not uncommon to see them.

Animal Care and Control will respond if your domestic animal attacks, fights with, or is wounded by a wild animal. A report will be filed but that does not mean that the animal will be trapped. If your animals are being attacked, killed, or injured by a coyote you will need to contact both Animal Care and Control and North Carolina Wildlife Commission.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding towns are continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Due to this growth and development we are continuously encroaching on wild animal habitats. With the increase in population and new developments being erected, it is not uncommon for people to see coyotes in an urban area. The coyote has been in Mecklenburg County for the last 20 years. North Carolina is actually one of the last states in the southeast to be populated by them.

Coyotes in urban areas normally run in a family unit consisting of a female, a male, and their pups. A female may have between 4 to 7 pups in each litter and can reproduce 2 times a year. However, most coyotes will die with in the first three years of life in urban areas. The recent increase in coyote sightings is mostly likely because they are in mating season and having pups. Coyote sightings usually spike during the Fall because the pups have matured and they are moving out to form their own pack.

The urban coyote’s diet mainly consists of small rodents, deer, and fruits. Coyotes are not predators that will attack humans, in most cases they are easily frightened, afraid of humans and will run away if they see a human. Coyotes have been known to attack small dogs or cats, so if you have seen a coyote in your area, protect your pets by keeping them indoors and monitoring them when they are outside.

Tips to keep you and your pets safe!

Keep your pet restrained while outside.

A fenced yard is the best safeguard against wild animals coming into your yard.

Monitor your pet while it’s outside.

Keep cats inside if possible.

Do not feed your pet outside.

If you must feed your animal outside, remove any food that is left after your animal is finished eating.

Bird feeders often attract small animals such as squirrels and small rodents. Larger animals will then prey on the squirrels and rodents, thus attracting them to a bird feeder.

At night, bright white floodlights will deter coyotes from your property.

Make sure that your trash is secure. If possible keep trash in a can with a very secure lid.

If your pet comes in contact with a wild animal or is injured by a wild animal, protect yourself first!

Wear rubber gloves when handling your pet.

Wear long sleeves.

Protect your eyes.

If the injuries to the pet are not life threatening, wash off the animal with a garden hose. This will remove salvia from the animal.

Wrap your pet in a blanket.

Most importantly make sure your pet is current on its rabies vaccination! If your pet comes into contact with a wild animal, a current rabies vaccination will save your pet’s life!

Animal Care & Control offers a FREE Rabies Clinic on the second Saturday of each month. The clinic takes place at 8315 Byrum Drive Charlotte, NC 28217. The hours are from 8am to 11am.

A coyote is about the size of a medium sized dog. They average in size from 20 to 40 pounds.They may resemble a German Shepherd or Collie. A coyote will have pointed ears, slender muzzle, and a dropping bushy tail that is black tipped. Their colors are usually a gray brown with red behind the ears and on the face. Their color may vary from a gray to black. The coyote’s eyes will be a vivid yellow with large pupils unlike dog eyes which are mainly brown.

Call a Wildlife Damage Control Agent if a wild animal is damaging your property. A list of resources is provided on under “coexisting with wildlife”. -

This article was contributed by Melissa Knicely of CMPD Animal Care & Control Department May of 2008. Do you have an article you would like to contribute to Metrolina Dog Reporter? Contact


  1. Sighting of what looked like a coyote in my densely wooded rear yard in the evening hours eating something on the ground. Upon seeing me this creature slowly walked into the deeper woods. I've heard of the coyotes in eastern states now for awhile yet I was suprised to see this in our urban area. I live in Cranford, NJ(Union County)

  2. Hi!
    So nice to get a comment from New Jersey. I have cousins in Oak Ridge. I live in Indian Trail, NC and due to the rapid development surrounding Charlotte, we have seen coyotes in suburban and even urban areas lately. Some pets have been attacked. I hope you found this article helpful since you have spotted a coyote in your backyard woods.

    Best regards,
    Debbie (aka Dog Reporter)

  3. Saw a coyote crossong Providence Road on Thursday, September 11th.

  4. anonymous said...
    I saw a coyote crossing Hwy 75 between Mineral Springs and Waxhaw NC this morning

  5. Dec. 29, 2008. At 7:30 A.M. ths morning, I saw a coyote on my street, Norman Shores Dr, Cornelius, N.C. He spotted me and ran into the woods above my house. Can't believe that he could survive in my neghborhood.

  6. I saw a Coyote last night on Eastfield Road in North Charlotte when I was coming home around 7pm. It darted across the road in front of our car.

  7. I looked out my back window this morning to find a beautiful, healthy looking coyote walking across my backyard. I live in Davis Lake on Chestnut Knoll Lane.



    KEN P

  9. My wife and I saw a young coyote take a gosling at our house on Lake Norman in late afternoon on June 16, 2009 just off Bethel Church Road (near where BCR ends at the Lake).

    After catching the gosling, he took it into a small patch of woods. Not long after that, he returned to the lakefront, apparently going for another gosling (as the geese had moved only a short way down the beach) and went under our pier in a section over the sand. I walked down to the pier, an he ran out and up the beach, then into another small patch of woods. It was young--not more than a year old I would guess--but looked healthy and well-fed. I think it is delightful to have him join the otters, muskrats, rabbits, possums, racoons, deer and numerous other animals we have seen on our property.

  10. That's one lucky coyote to have understanding property owners who enjoy seeing "Wild Kingdom" play out on their property. I have seen a few foxes over the years around Indian Trail but no coyotes yet. My husband saw an otter catch and eat a fish while canoeing at Lake Lee in Monroe last Saturday. It was the highlight of his trip.

  11. I live in Clanton Park, right off of Interstate 77 at Exit#7. I was on my way home from work on Wednesday morning, 11-24-10, when I saw a coyote that someone had hit just before day break laying on the curb. I was'nt sure if it was a coyote until I came back to see that it was indeed a coyote. It was a young male and it weighed between 20 to 30 plays pounds, I was surprized to say the least.

  12. My nephew killed a coyote off Secrest Shortcut Rd in Union Cty a couple months ago and we have heard them at night. They make a crying yappy sort of barking noise. Just this morning 1-26-2011 around 4:30 am I heard, it sound like several, not too far outside my bedroom window. It woke me and one of our little yorkies. My husband did not hear them but I heard them very clear so we were very careful when we let our three little yorkies out around 5:30 am. we kept our eyes on them and did not allow them to stay out and play. This coyote crap is becoming a very scarry problem. I read somewhere about two years ago where the government has put them in various areas to control the deer population and NOW they have become an even worst problem. thank you 'dear old government.'

  13. Thank you for your comment. Personally, I wouldn't let little dogs out alone in the dark for more wildlife reasons than coyotes. For example, we have had a HUGE barn owl making regular late night visits to our backyard for over a year now. We've seen it perched on top of the kid's old tree house many nights for long periods of time ... sometimes it comes at 3 or 4 in the morning and our dogs can sense it so they carry on until we let them go outside. Our dogs are too big (the 30 lb. one just barely ... it's a big bird) for the owl to carry them off but it could certainly fly off with a cat or a small dog.

  14. I spotted a young coyote last week on Old Dowd Road near Sam Wilson in Charlotte. It was around 1:45 pm and he kept darting back and forth across the street. I actually made a U-turn so that I could get a closer look at him and confirm that it was actually a coyote. He stood right near my car and then took off into a wooded area on Old Dowd...

  15. Just saw a coyote going down the street on Old Post Rd around 1:00AM. (East Meck High area).

  16. I saw a Coyote while leaving my neighborhood in Hyde Park this morning about 8 am. This is a well populated condo community near a town home community and other apartments off of Mallard Creek Ch Rd in the University are of Charlotte. I was on Westbend Drive.

    Needless to say I was shocked to see it. 'm from a very urban area up north and this is just not the norm. As I turned out of my driveway and started up the hill I thought I saw a small deer crossing the road. As I got closer I thought it may be more like a taller dog, and then I realized what it was when it stopped in the middle of the road and stared at me for a split second before darting back into the woods on the side of the road where it came from. After it entered the relative "safety" of the edge of the trees, it turned around and looked at me again as I was driving by and I was able to confirm that I just saw a coyote almost face to face! Wow! That's crazy! The things you see on your way to work! *sigh*

  17. I saw a coyote behind some homes on Lawing School Rd. This is on the westside near Mt Holly Huntersville Rd. and Belhaven Rd. At first it looked like a fox but after a closer look it was way bigger than a fox and had long ears and a strange hop. Didn't run like a dog would. Took off into some woods but it was up near a carport when first observed which was about 06:15am

  18. coyote spotted on Kuykendall road and squirrell hollow drive in early november 2011.

  19. To make an official coyote sighting report with the Natural Resources division of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation go to:

    Dog Reporter Debbie

  20. Hi!
    We live on Highway 218, in Mint Hill. For the past few months, we have awoken to loud,high pitched barking and yipping at around 3:30 to 4:30 in the morning. Do you think that this could possible be coyotes? We have over 22 acres and lots of deer that come up to feed in the evenings. Also, a family member came to get some wood, and said he saw bobcat tracks on our property also. Do you hear of any sightings of those?? Thanks for any help with these questions!

  21. To Anonymous Feb 22, 2012,

    To watch a video of coyotes and hear coyote sounds, go to

    Coyotes breed in February and March so it's possible with the warm winter that you may have a litter of coyote pups on your property but it could just be a pack of dogs barking and yipping, too.
    You may want to contact and see if a Wildlife Control Officer is willing to check it out for you. Meantime, there is a lot of good information on the following site as well.

    Good Luck,
    Dog Reporter Debbie

  22. Hi,

    Yes, I live in Mint Hill too and I heard the howling too this past Sunday February 26,2012 about 6:00 am. It sounded like 3-4 together making noises. I was told too they were probably mating. Can we shoot them? I have small dogs.

  23. Please check your local ordinances regarding the use of firearms. As an animal lover myself, I would suggest taking some non-lethal steps to keep your small dogs safe before you get out your guns. Consider keeping them indoors unless they are being walked on a leash, supervised or inside a coyote proof fence; don't feed your pets outside, etc. Here is a link with more tips for coexisting/preventing conflicts with coyotes: