Protecting Pets From Predators

By Katherine Koenig – Last month, I heard a heartbreaking story from homeowners on Black Mountain.

One of their two beloved dogs had slipped outside into the backyard – and shortly thereafter, was killed by a coyote.

“There are many predators, and coyotes are only one of them,” says Carefree resident

Lyn Hitchon. As writer of the local Carefree Truth, she’s also heard from residents who have written to her about their household pets encountering a hungry predator.

“These small animals are also at risk from hawks and owls that swoop down and grab them from the sky, so even the highest walls are no protection from birds of prey.”

In the desert, it’s important to follow some common-sense guidelines to protect small pets.

  • Don’t leave small pets outside alone, ever.
  • Enclose your pet area with fencing, but don’t see this as a fail-safe.
  • Have your pets wear tags and collars with identification, including the pet’s name, contact phone number and address.
  • Don’t feed the wild animals. Giving wild animals a food source isn’t a good idea.
  • Keep pets on a leash when you go for walks in the desert.
  • Send dogs to snake training clinics to help dogs learn a healthy fear of rattlesnakes.
  • Don’t put a declawed cat outside for any length of time.

“Do not feel that your small pet is safe just because he or she is in your walled yard,” adds Hitchon. “This is not the case. When your little guys are outside, you must be with them at all times, preferably close enough to quickly grab them should a threat present itself.”  |CST

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