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DNR tips to pet owners after multiple coyote sightings in suburban Indianapolis

DNR advises folks to learn to coexist with the animals
Posted at 7:15 PM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 11:22:18-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana is a habitat for coyotes. They're all over the state, including in cities and suburbs.

It's almost mating season, which is why many Indianapolis residents have seen them in more urban areas.

To protect your pets, experts recommend making sure they are fed inside and keep them in the garage when they aren't in the house.

They also suggest making sure that your pets are on a leash if you take them out for a walk.

Andrew Filler owns Filler Family Farms on the southeast side of Indianapolis.

Last year, he had about 20 chickens taken out by coyotes.

He replaced the birds, but wanted to make sure the coyotes don't get any more free meals.

"We added a bunch of barn lights around the pasture," Filler said.

They also added donkeys, Filler said.

Nancy Miller-Bennett also lives on the Southside of Indianapolis. Her family has had to make some adjustments to how they care for their pets.

"We don't let them out certain times of the day and we never let them out without supervision," Miller-Bennett said.

Professional trapper Tom Setser said coyotes are focused on food this time of year.

"You've got them coming into the backyards, eating dog food, cat food, eating the cat," he said.

He said coyotes aren't pets and you should keep your distance.

"They are not friendly dogs," Setster said.

DNR says that folks need to learn to coexist with the coyotes and shared these tips:

  • Feed pets indoors when possible; pick up leftovers if feeding outdoors; and store pet and livestock feed where it’s inaccessible to wildlife.
  • Eliminate water bowls and other artificial water sources (if possible).
  • Position bird feeders in a location that is less likely to attract small animals or bring the feeders in at night (to keep coyotes from feeding on the bird food or the other animals). Take down bird feeders if issues are occurring.
  • Do not discard edible garbage where coyotes can get to it. Secure garbage containers.
  • Trim and clean shrubbery near ground level to reduce hiding cover for coyotes or their prey.
  • Always keep pets leashed and, if kept outside, provide secure nighttime housing for them.  Any outdoor pet or poultry runs should have a top to make them more secure and the fencing should be buried in the ground to prevent digging under the fence.
  • If you start seeing coyotes around your home, discourage them by shouting, making loud noises, shaking a container of coins, using an air horn or whistle, spraying them with a hose, or throwing rocks or tennis balls but NEVER corner a coyote – always give the coyote a free escape route.

To read more about coyotes on the DNR website, click here.