LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Cape Coral woman is terrified of the pest she says keeps murdering her pets. She and several neighbors have been spotting coyotes in their neighborhood near the Pelican Soccer Complex, and they're afraid of what else the animals could get a hold of if they're not removed soon.
Crystal George has lost five cats over the last few months. "I don’t want to lose anymore cats, and I don’t want to be afraid to come to the park early in the morning."
She afraid of what she calls a predator on the prowl. She describes how she found one of her cats. "In the field right next to our house, we found his body with his neck ripped open."
"It was just awful, the poor thing was mangled," says a neighbor who found another one of Crystal's cats at Pelican Park, right next to the playground.
Crystal brings her own son there for walks almost daily. "You never know if something that's wild can have rabies or get frightened and attack a child."
She and neighbors have contacted the Cape Coral Police Department about it, but there isn't much they can do.
Cpl. Phil Mullen says you can't shoot at the coyotes either. "You can’t just discharge a firearm in the city, or anywhere for that matter, because you never know what you might hit in the backdrop."
He suggests to hire a professional coyote trapper, but neighbors say the city should take on the responsibility.
When Fox 4 reached out to the city, they said they wouldn't do anything about it either. In a statement, a Cape Coral spokesperson says:
“It sounds like the caller has a lot of cats, and she allows them to roam freely, which is violation of animal control ordinances. Pets should not be roaming at large for various reasons including the fact they can be preyed upon by coyotes, raccoons, eagles, etc. And hit by cars.”
"We feel like nobody really cares that we lost so many, and especially to have to pay out of our pocket to trap these animals when they're at a city complex with children," says Crystal.
The city spokesperson later told Fox 4 neighbors should check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to see if they'll take any action.