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Protect your cats from coyotes on the prowl

After coyotes ran off with both of her cats in just a two-month span, Troutdale resident Ann Lundstrom fears the wild dogs are increasing their presence in the local urban area.

Authorities at Multnomah Animal Services in Troutdale say the presence of coyotes is normal.

“They’ve always been here,” said an office representative at the local shelter. “Where there are cats, rabbits, mice and small animals, they’re going to come around.”

According to the Audubon Society of Portland’s website, coyote sightings in urban areas, specifically in and around Portland, began in the 1980s and have increased over the past 15 years.

While most are usually spotted near natural areas, coyotes have been seen deep in the urban interior. By leaving out garbage and compost bins and letting pets roam free outside, humans have inadvertently promoted urban coyote populations, Audubon Society reported.

Lundstrom, who lives near the Albertsons off S.E. 257th and Stark Street, claims one of her cats went missing March 18 and the other on April 12, both in broad daylight.

She believes coyotes were the culprits, and neighbors who said they’ve had multiple sightings in the area, confirm her suspicions.

Lundstrom has talked to friends and neighbors who also have seen coyotes in the fields near Mt. Hood Community College and across the street near Paws and Claws Pet Medical Center.

A few weeks before her first cat went missing, Lundstrom watched a coyote trap an unidentified small animal under a chain-linked fence in a forested area in her neighborhood.

Her presence disturbed the coyote, but after walking away and returning, both animals were gone, she said.

Lundstrom has lived in Troutdale for 23 years and says she’s never had a problem with coyotes and her cats until this year. With zero cats left, a mournful Lundstrom said, “It hurts. It just hurts.”

On the bright side, “There is going to be more birds,” she said, “One of them was a bird killer.”

The animal shelter advises people to keep their cats and small dogs indoors in the event of reports of nearby coyote activity.

According to the Animal Services worker in Troutdale, coyotes don’t care much for people, but cats appear to be their favorite fast-food meal.

“They just want cats,” she said.




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