VIDEO: Coyotes roam Austin backyards, city advances plan for threats

Coyotes seen in the Allandale neighborhood in North Austin. (Credit: Michael Aielli)
Coyotes seen in the Allandale neighborhood in North Austin. (Credit: Michael Aielli)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Coyotes are known to wander Central Texas, and in some cases have eaten people’s pets.

“They just carried them right down the landing.”

Kay Aielli says coyotes got her two Chihuahuas about nine years ago, when she let them out in her Allandale backyard. Over the summer, a coyote snatched her cat. Aielli was able to scare the coyote and get it to drop her cat, but the feline didn’t survive. “I was crying because it was so traumatic,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Kay’s brother, Michael Aielli, has captured coyotes on his video camera, across the creek from Kay’s home. Kay wants the wild animals gone. “Relocate. Catch and relocate, but I realize that’s difficult.”

Austin Animal Services says relocating doesn’t work. “Relocation of coyotes is not successful, it’s not humane, because they don’t do well, they die,” explains Tawny Hammond, chief officer with Austin Animal Services. “It’s not proven an effective method of dealing with the situation.”

Animal services focuses on educating, and hazing, which includes making loud noises to scare coyotes away. They would only resort to euthanization if a coyote bit a human, creating a public safety issue. That is when they may put their new agreement to use.

“If we need more assistance regarding an incident, or a concern, we can work with other wildlife professionals,” explains Hammond.

If you have a problem with coyotes, Animal Services says report it to 311. If necessary, they can come out to your house, do a survey of the area, and try to help you keep the animals away. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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