Brandon pet owners warned about coyote activity

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has a warning about coyotes on the prowl across the Bay Area.

It's been an ongoing problem in Pinellas, Sarasota, and Manatee counties, and now folks in Hillsborough report seeing the dog-like wild animals in their neighborhoods.

Even if you don't see them, listen on a quiet night and you may hear their yipping calls. That means your pets could be in danger.

Yvonne Painton never dreamed that a casual stroll with her pooch would turn into an unsettling event. She saw a pile of orange fur.

“Oh my gosh,” she thought, “it must have been a heck of a cat fight.”

Then she realized the pile was her neighbor's cat.

It was a heart-wrenching way to realize that coyotes are on the hunt for food and can show up anywhere.

The incident brought back memories of when she and her husband lived in a rural area of Dover, Florida. That time, she lost three of her own cats.

“If you have to think about the fact that your pets were eaten by something, I am not sure it is something you ever get past,” she said.

FWC has posted tips on how to discourage coyotes from being attracted to your house at To report a nuisance coyote, call 863-648-3200.