Living with Coyotes
From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Living with Coyotes

Letter as published on
May 2, 2018 Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW) - ~ Living with Coyotes

As a result of recent coyote incidents here, we'd like to offer a few suggestions. We understand there are stressful concerns and we hope this provides helpful, constructive information:
  • An oral rabies vaccine has been distributed in New York City and Long Island by the Department of Health, which has had great success. Animals are inoculated to eliminate rabies by vaccine bait. This program should be adopted in Westchester, especially since its large areas of green space make it easier to distribute.
  • Under normal conditions coyotes are shy. Coyotes have been here for many years and are rarely seen. They can be playful and affectionate.
  • When there is sickness, of course it should be addressed, just like in people. But rabies in humans in the U.S. is rare. It has been documented to 2300 BC all the more reason to utilize education and vaccines.
  • The public is statistically far more likely to be bitten by dogs than coyotes.

Coyotes are part of a healthy ecosystem; they stop disease by controlling rodents and insects. Recognizing this, Chicago has welcomed their "coyote patrol" and New York City has created Wildlife NYC, which states that "City dwellers take many forms" and offers education about hawks, raccoons and yes, coyotes.

At an April 25 meeting about coyotes at Greenburgh Town Hall meeting, valuable information was offered by Frank Vincenti, founder of the Wild Dog Foundation, and Kevin Clarke, wildlife biologist for the DEC.

Wildlife is everywhere, it's their country too. They are only looking to live and survive just like we are and more so as we expand and encroach on habitats. Coexistence is always the most sensible, ethical strategy.

Urge county officials to utilize and promote vaccine baiting and education programs.

There are sometimes challenges but if other venues can do it, we can too. Westchester is up to the task.

Kiley Blackman
Founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester

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