Centennial residents say coyotes attacking pets is a growing problem

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CENTENNIAL -- Residents in Centennial said they have a growing problem with coyotes attacking their pets.

“My puppy, Finn, had just turned one years old,” said Shelley Pesta, who lives in Willow Creek.

Pesta said she was well aware of the coyote concern, and as such, she always kept Finn indoors or on a leash.

It was one July evening and her sons were eating pizza on their back porch, when Pesta said one of the boys opened the back door and Finn ran out barking.

“The dogs ran out and were barking because there was a coyote there,” Pesta said. “It took 5 seconds. The coyote jumped, got Finn and took off. And you cannot catch them.”

Pesta said they searched the green space for hours, but never found Finn.

“We’re still trying to get over it,” she said. “We’re grieving. It’s been devastating. We cried for days. The problem is out of control, it really is.”

Pesta showed FOX31 posts on her Next Door app that showed other neighbors reporting pets attacked or missing.

It’s nothing new in Colorado. Family pets across the Front Range are attacked every year by territorial coyotes in search of food. Colorado Parks and Wildlife warns pet owners to be vigilant.

But Pesta fears the coyotes are becoming more aggressive, and brave. She said recommended tactics, like hazing, have not worked.

“I see them run across the street at noon and, you know, my kids are out playing,” she said.

Centennial neighbor, Dave Newquist, said he also sees coyotes. At most over the years, a pack of five.

He’s also seen coyotes walking down his residential street.

“Right down the middle of this street carrying, well, carrying a cat,” he said. “I guess it’s one of the prices you pay in living in an area where there’s wildlife.”

Pesta said she doesn’t know what a solution might be.

“There’s all of these things to protect the coyote and not to protect our pets, and our rights in our own backyard, and our own home,” she said.

But she hoped to start a conversation.

“We all feel helpless, like there’s nothing we can do about it,” she said.

If you encounter an aggressive coyote, it’s best to call 911.

A spokesperson for the city of Centennial said, so far, they have not had any reports of coyote-human interaction, but they have had reports of coyote sightings.

The city asks residents to report any signs of aggressive behavior. You can do so by contacting Centennial Animal Services at 303-325-8070.

Pesta said she and other community members planned to go to the Mayor’s office at noon on Wednesday, when the Mayor typically allots an hour to speak with residents on a first come, first serve basis.

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