2007-12-20 / Letters to the Editor

Do not feed the visiting coyotes

Last Thursday morning, as the volunteer Animal Control Officer, I was called about a coyote on the front porch of a home on Shoreby Hill. The homeowner had opened his front door to take a mid-morning walk and found a coyote sitting on the porch staring at a plastic badminton birdie. When the coyote saw the homeowner, he got up, left and headed into the next yard to see what was on their porch.

Thanks to the snow, I was able to track the animal through the yards and porches all along Hawthorne Road. It was apparent that he was sniffing out each porch, slowly making his way through the neighborhood.

Coyotes are opportunists. They are smart enough to remember where they previously found food, and what time of the day it was. Many Jamestown residents leave cat food out for their pets and for the strays in the neighborhood. Coyotes find the food and start showing up each day to feed. In the end, everyone loses. The cats don't get the food and often become a coyote meal, and the coyote becomes a pest and has to be removed and usually killed.

If you have a stray cat in your neighborhood, please do not feed it. Please call me on my cell phone at 354-9200, or the Jamestown Police Department at 423-1212. I will trap the cat and attempt to reunite it with its owner. If no owner is found, the cat will be placed for adoption. If it is a feral cat, Pawswatch will be called.

Happy Holidays and please do not feed the coyotes.

Barbara Szepatowski

Jamestown

Editors note: Ms. Szepatowski is the acting ACO, while the town's ACO is out on medical leave until March 2008.

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