Coyotes Cause Fear In Florence Neighborhood

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Cheryl Gunnells has lived in Florence for the last five years.

She says her life changed when her dog was killed by a coyote three years ago in her backyard.

"We think as pets as our family. And they're precious to us and they're dear to us and we feel like we should protect them to and I feel like I let Max done because I was uninformed," said Gunnells.

Gunnells says coyotes are back in her area and she fears the same situation will happen with her new dog.

"The last sighting was right next door to me at my neighbor's fence. It was in the morning. Which was very surprising to us because we've been told that the animals should only come out at night. But now we are starting to see them during the day time hours,” said Gunnells.

Vinny Grosso is supervisor at the Florence - Lauderdale Animal Control.

Grosso says coyotes won`t harm humans and says what Gunnells saw was a hybrid, a mix between a dog and a coyote.

"Just know that we are doing the best we can and we are going to continue to try to catch the coyotes. But it's a slow process and we are dealing with, you know, at any given time. We're talking about hundreds of coyotes that are in the city and we may have a problem one or two that are a nuisance. But we are trying our best to get them off the streets. We have in the past and we'll continue to do it," said Grosso.

Gunnells hopes animal control can catch these animals so no one has to suffer a special loss like she did.


  • Trac Sala

    Most coyotes will NOT bother you. They are out early morning. Remember they are gods creatures and have as much right to the land as we do.

    • Leslie Gray Kilgore

      I agree. There’s a 4-panel comic I often think of. It’s a bear standing in the woods, which are then torn down and replaced with a shopping mall. Then a shopper walks up and says “Eek! Where did this bear come from?!” And he replies “I’ve always been here!” It’s a great visual.

  • D C

    Most……..I wonder what happens when they do. Everybody needs to remember coyotes “rights” when a child is tore to shreds in their front yard.

  • Jim

    The same was said about the Wolves all over America which were hunted to almost extinction. When you take an animal (major predator) out of the food chain you see lots of things happening. You need to see what is happening around Yellowstone since the Wolves were reintroduced. The deer, elk and rabbit population had gone unchecked for almost 100 years which people didnt notice which actually kept the land barren. Since the wolves came back the land has changed dramatically since the deer cannot overgraise the land and the rivers are actually cleaner now since there is not all the runoff into the rivers because the riverbanks have grass and brush growing on it now..Surprising changes to the landscape that no one even anticipated that all were caused by putting something that was there before back. The bears are healthier since they now have berries to eat that the deer had always eaten to the ground. I would think that we would see kids torn apart more likely from a pit bull or family pet than a coyote anyway. However that is a valid concern but remote at best..

  • mamac

    The coyotes are trying to survive. People is taking up there space. We are invading there space.Pushing them out. But for the most part coyotes are scared. I was walking in the woods down the side of the mountain to my hunting spot show movement and looked under the rock and there stood a coyote.Both of us was scared I was like well I’m at his door so I just stood I was a few feet away it didn’t hear me cause it was raining .But it was just as scared as I was..It ran off never to see it again. Even after 6 hours sitting in my tree stand.Maybe the wildlife officers can help yall with the situation maybe relocate them somewhere.

  • Coyote Whisperer

    I would say shoot them but it appears they live in a populated area…in that case I recommend something less lethal. Maybe get some fireworks or a starter gun & fire blanks to scare them off.

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