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Are You Afraid of Coyotes?
Humane fence roller keeps pets in, wild animals out
Coyotes often roam suburban neighborhoods looking for easy meals.

Having lived in New Orleans for most of my adult life, it was a shock to see my first coyote in our semi-rural neighborhood in northern Illinois a few years back. One look at their confident gait and hard yellow eyes and there is no mistaking them for a dog. Some of my friends told me horror stories about coyotes snatching pets, but I still found them to be exotic, a curiosity.

This summer, new road and bridge construction about a mile away from our house is pushing hungry, homeless wildlife into our area, including a coyote pack. While walking three of my dogs one afternoon, I saw a coyote hunting mice in a neighbor's pasture. He looked up and saw us, but didn't budge. My Catahoula started baying, eager to chase him, which set off the other two dogs. I managed to hold onto their leashes and turn around to go back the way we came. Even though my dogs were not afraid, I was surprised to find my heart thumping out of my chest and feeling fearful.

With five large dogs and the removal of a tempting chicken coop, I don’t expect to see coyotes leaping our six-foot wooden privacy fence anytime soon. But that incident along with concerns over our occasionally outdoor cats climbing the fence and becoming a coyote meal lead me to check out the Coyote Roller.

This new product is installed atop any fencing, chain link, wooden or iron. The roller prevents an animal – even large birds like crows – from getting traction. There is no electrical shock; the animal simply rolls off. Seems like a win-win situation to me, assuming you can afford it. (See video demo below.)

Personally, I can do without the scaremongering of the company’s “Top 10 Reasons Why You Need the Coyote Roller.” As suburban sprawl aggressively swallows wide, open spaces, it’s important to remember that we’re the invading species, not coyotes, raccoons, skunks or other animals that are conveniently labeled as pests.

Do you live among coyotes? If so, how do you keep your dogs safe? What would you do if you saw a coyote in your neighborhood?


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Tina McManus | July 14 2010 |

We've heard coyotes in my suburban neighborhood over the past few years, but I hadn't seen one until this summer. I've seen one twice - once in the road around the corner and the tail and haunches of another disappearing into the wetland lot next to our house. We were leaving in the car and you could see him in the trees peering at us. So far, so good. They run when they see us (good) and so far, haven't attacked any of the neighborhood cats. My cats go out occasionally, though never at night. I'm hoping we can all co-exist peacefully. When you look at the number of fatal & disfiguring dog attacks vs. coyote attacks, it puts it in perspective.

Submitted by Grace Foley | July 15 2010 |

We too have seen coyotes in the grassy area behind our apartment complex. There is a great deal of open space near us, despite living just outside Dallas, TX. We've seen a couple of coyotes together, and sometimes solitary ones, all of them eager to run away from us. We have 2 large dogs and while fascinated, they watch warily and will bark and lunge at the retreating and apparently fearful coyotes. I'm in awe of their survivorship and ability to conceal themselves so effectively. We're not concerned about them, but also give them no reason to come closer to us. We are the intruders, not them.

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