Letter & Information from PETA regarding Fox Island Coyotes

FICRA has been contacted by PETA by their Emergency Response Team, Cruelty Investigations Department, in regards to the coyotes on Fox Island. Below is the letter from PETA, as well as the current information from John Ohlson regarding the privately sponsored “Coyote Control Fund.” The letter from PETA gives additional ideas on how to deter coyotes, rather than trapping and killing them.

Following that letter is the most recent update from John Ohlson regarding coyote trapping on the island. Be advised that an off-leash dog recently encountered a trap, so please be sure to leash your animals. FICRA does not have further information on this incident.

Please note that FICRA is a community recreation organization and is not a part of the “Coyote Control Fund.” Information is being shared here as a resource for Islanders.

From PETA:

February 10, 2012

To: Lynne Goodwin, President, Fox Island Community and Recreation Association, Fox Island Community and Recreation Association Board

Cc: John Ohlson, Resident, Fox Island

From: Jodi Minion, Wildlife Biologist, Cruelty Investigations Department, PETA

Re: Coyote control on Fox Island

Your urgent attention is requested. PETA is an international animal protection organization with more than 3 million members and supporters globally. We hope this letter finds you well. Our office has received calls from Washington residents who are upset about Fox Island residents’ use of snares and leghold traps to catch and kill coyotes.

We’re writing to offer information about how to deal with coyotes effectively and humanely, in the hopes that these cruel traps will be removed. Snares and steel-jaw traps (even rubber-coated ones) cause immense distress and pain. Terrified, animals often injure themselves in their frantic struggles to escape (many chew off their own limbs, toward this end). Animals caught by their necks can slowly suffocate. These traps also pose a definitive risk to non-target wildlife and stray dogs.

Further, killing coyotes won’t solve anything. Surviving pack members will simply breed in order to replace lost family members, and more coyotes will move in from outlying areas to use available resources. Lethal methods also tear animal families apart, and leave young to die from starvation/dehydration.

Coyotes are attracted to residential areas that provide an adequate food source. The following will work to keep coyotes away:

Trash and compost should be kept sealed (bungee cords keep lids on tight); residents should feed pets indoors, and should be warned against leaving them unattended outside.

Strict wildlife feeding prohibitions should be enforced.

Motion activated sprinklers, flashing lights, and outdoor radios can be used to keep coyotes away.

Vegetation should be trimmed back along paths and yards to reduce available hiding places.

Coyotes can be evicted from dens by introducing ammonia-soaked rags (animals won’t like the smell and will leave).

If lethal methods are insisted upon, coyotes should be cage-trapped (traps must be checked daily and disabled when this isn’t possible) and euthanized.

We stand ready to advise further, if needed. May we hear from you soon?

Thank you for your compassionate consideration.

Sincerely, Jodi Minion

Wildlife Biologist Emergency Response Team Cruelty Investigations Department

757-962-8216

_______________________________________________

Information regarding the private “Coyote Control Fund:”

From John Ohlson: February 2, 2012

USDA activities continue on private properties on the Island. Recent efforts have been hampered by the bad weather.

An Island resident’s dog recently encountered a coyote trap while running off-leash on private property in a gated development. Fox Island is largely made up of private property, so for their safety, please do not let dogs run free on property other than your own, and be aware if you are trespassing on someone’s land without permission to be there, you may be at risk of interfering with the USDA’s efforts, and endangering your pets. Please keep your dogs on a leash.

The USDA folks have had a few close encounters with coyotes over the past week, however they have turned out to be a bit more ‘wily’ than expected if you’ll pardon the pun. More information will be shared as it develops.

Post your coyote sightings on our Fox Island Coyote Reporting page, to help the USDA focus on areas where they are most active at the moment. The USDA staff will NOT enter private property where they have not first obtained written permission to do so. If you have coyotes on or near your property and wish to work with the USDA, please contact us to obtain a property owner agreement.

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