Polk County residents upset coyote attacks are back

LAKELAND, Fla. - Angry residents packed the Lakeland City Hall for a meeting about cats being killed by coyotes.

At the beginning of the year, pet cats started to disappear with their dismembered bodies left in their front yards.

The cat attacks stopped in June.

Shannon Miles said the attacks have started again. "So I went out on Monday and had to identify... it was indeed my cat that was mutilated," she said.

At the meeting, Angeline Scotten with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission agreed there is a coyote problem.

What can you do to protect your pets?

Scotten said keep cats inside along with anything that might attract the animals.

"Pet, food, bird seed, garbage, anything like that that is attractive to coyotes can draw them in," he said.

Miles says that is not good enough for her and wants the city to trap the coyotes.

"I think the city should get involved. We have a problem. We have something that is killing cats."

The Administrator of the Polk County Animal services offered a solution. He said residents who live in the county can rent a trap.

Craig Burke runs the Polk County Animal Services. He said, "We have actually already given out traps in the Lakeland area for this purpose as well."  Burke said the county does not have the manpower to hunt down the coyotes themselves.

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