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Coyote sightings on the rise |

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Coyote sightings on the rise

Officials are warning of an increase in coyote attacks on pets in Sun City and Summerlin.

The Sun City Animal Hospital sent out a notice to their clients that they've seen an increase in the past nine months.

Coyotes are most active in the Spring and early Fall months at dawn and dusk which is also a time when owners typically take their pets out for a walk.

"We used to see them in the back of the house, and we saw one on the street the other day," said Arthur Heathcote, resident in Henderson.

"They come down here, and they pick off mostly the rabbits, but every once in a while they grab a dog too," according to Henderson resident Jim Sunich.

Sunich has lived in his neighborhood for 16 years, and sadly, over that time, Sunich says he's heard plenty of stories about neighbors losing pets to coyotes. There was even an incident that happened this year.

"A coyote came up from behind the person, grabbed the dog, and tried to take off, but luckily they got the dog back," Sunich said.

Residents in Summerlin have also witnessed these attacks. A vet in Summerlin says he's seen at least five dogs who were attacked by coyotes in recent weeks.

"These coyotes aren't out on the hunt to try to claim territory or anything like that. They're trying to eat. They think that little small breed dog is a rabbit just like they find on these golf courses," said Cade Lavengco, hospital director at Town Center Animal Hospital.

Experts say valley residents are also seeing more coyotes because of the resurgence of construction in the area New construction is disrupting their habitat and forcing them into populated areas.

"That's where we have increased the natural habitat, added water, added foliage that attracts prey species like mice, rats, and rabbits," said Doug Nielsen, NDOW.

Residents are encouraged to take a proactive approach to deter coyote attacks. Wildlife experts said try keeping your pets indoors and check for coyotes before letting your pets outside.

If you see a coyote, pick up your pet, make loud noises, spray them with a hose or throw items in their direction.

The department of wildlife says it doesn't keep hard counts of the number of sightings each year, but they say the numbers seem on par with other years.

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