HENDERSON, KY (WFIE) - Neighbors in a Henderson, Kentucky subdivision are worried about the safety of their pets, and even their children.
Multiple coyote sightings at the Balmoral Acres Subdivision off Highway 60 in Henderson County has become a hot topic in the area.
On Tuesday night, a family off Cobblestone Drive found their dog dead.
"We let our dog out last night, probably around 5:30-6ish," explained Justin Williams, the late dog's owner. "She failed to come back home. She's not much of a wanderer. We went and looked for her," Williams' said as began tearing up. "That's when my wife had found her, where she was attacked by a coyote. She called me and told me. I came outside, and she (Williams' wife) had carried her back over here, and she had a wound on her neck where she had been bitten by a coyote."
Williams and other neighbors we spoke to tell us there's about 8 acres of land behind this residential area. They say this is where most of the coyotes sightings occur, and that the problem has become worse over the last year. Neighbors tell us their believe the animals have grown overpopulated.
As our reporter was filming video of the acreage Wednesday, she heard a group of high-pitched screams and howls nearby.
This noise, neighbors say, is a nightly sound.
"I first go out and shine the light out in the field, and you'll see coyotes staring back at you when they're there, so I know when to let my pets out or not," said Vicki Stumph, another Balmoral Acres Resident. "I've seen them as close as right there at our fence. It scares me. And this morning, my husband and I were getting ready to go to work, and the lab (Stumph's dog) just started having a fit at the door. We knew something was out here because he doesn't bark like that. My son came out, and there was a coyote standing right there," she pointed to the edge of her fence.
We spoke to City Commissioner Brad Staton. He recommends neighbors contact state Fish & Wildlife officials, who can send a license animal control professional to trap nuisance animals. Staton says he's working with other city officials to investigate ways the city can help resolve the issue.
For now, neighbors here are keeping a sharp eye on their loved ones.
"A lot of people have pets and small kids," said Williams. "It's a concern for anybody to lose a pet--which is like a child--as well as any harm being done to their children. These animals get desperate, there's no telling what could happen to them."