Failed Coexistence with Coyotes in Collingwood
Coyote Concerns Collingwood – Resident Report
Issued April 12, 2018 (Version 12:01 pm) Revised 04-13-2018
To begin to understand the coyote concerns in Collingwood and respond on behalf of residents; we need to be clear on what the problem actually is and use the appropriate terms to discuss this matter to reduce the misinformation being used to set policy.
- The problem is the over population of coyotes.
- Town of Collingwood to date has dismissed residents concerns while supporting a coexistence campaign – by default accepting pets being killed. Coyotes are wild animals who will kill pets for food.
- Misinformation is being used to hide the problem of the danger and threat of urban coyotes such as signage “Coyotes may be present” with contradicting measures to take.
- Pets are missing, being attacked and killed in Collingwood at an alarming rate.
- The OPP have refused to respond to coyote threats, by-law department will not respond and animal control will not respond to coyotes concerns.
- Town of Collingwood sees the solution as educating 20,000 residents and many more visitors to coexist with wild dangerous urban coyotes while suggesting attacks/threats/ killings are the fault of uneducated residents and visitors.
- Education is needed but the education has to be about the danger of coyotes, steps to take if coyotes enter Collingwood, and the approach to deal with the remove of urban coyotes from Collingwood.
- The following video helps provide an overview of the urban coyote population problem and the outcome if coexistence is allowed in urban centers http://scientificwildlifemanagement.com/our-services/urban-wildlife-management/
Coexistence with Coyotes
We need to understand the difference between the notion of coexistence with enjoyable wildlife in Collingwood, coexistence in the wild with wildlife and coexistence with dangerous wildlife roaming at large in Collingwood. The use of the term coexistence in each of these situations has a very different outcome.
We also need to distinguish between coyotes, packs of coyotes, and urban/habituated coyotes.
The term “coyote” should refer to a single coyote commonly seen in the wild – treed area away from an urban center, who is unaccustomed to interaction with people.
The term “pack of coyotes” had been an uncommon term until recently where they are now more common in Collingwood – this may be the evolution of the coyote with wolf species who appear to have evolved to hunt as a pack in or around cities.
The “urban or habituated coyote” is one that is frequently around people in Collingwood and accustomed and fearless of people – therefore more likely to approach people and attack pets on private property or streets, parks or trails of Collingwood.
Collingwood is frequented with urban/habituated coyotes. The sightings are being misinterpreted by staff. The regular and constant sightings of coyotes means people are threatened by the presence of these urban coyotes. To suggest we educate people to deal with the threat as the resolve is irresponsible as we now should realize these animals are looking for food and willing and capable of killing our pets. This is not acceptable by residents of Collingwood while advocates of coexistence accept this a casualty of the coexistence policy.
The term “problem coyote(s)” or “nuisance coyote”is being used within coexistence programs to address situations in which incidents/attacks happen in urban areas and therefore it is determined that action is necessary to remove these specific coyotes. The thinking is that coyotes are not a problem until they attack.
The problem with this thinking is the urban coyotes are a problem as they are looking for opportunities to attack. The longer they frequent Collingwood the less fearless they become of residents which increases the threat and attacks.
Incidents with Coyotes – Attacks and Killings
Coexistence advocates focus on statistics on the attacks on people which is growing at an alarming rate. The position is people are unlikely to be attacked. The concern with this thinking is that wild urban coyotes are at large in Collingwood and killing our pets, fearless of humans and it is logical to be concerned about the risk to small children. We should not wait to see if this happens and becomes a tragic statistic to effect policy.
Attacks on pets, missing pets and pets which are killed is not available accurately. We have experienced a number of pet attacks and killings in Collingwood – cats and dogs.
Enjoyable Wildlife vs Dangerous Wildlife
We all enjoy wildlife, want to protect wildlife but we are being mislead by the context in which coexistence with wildlife is being proposed in the Town of Collingwood Staff report C#2018-10.
Enjoyable wildlife in Collingwood should be protected by allowing it to roam at large; example, rabbits, deer, birds.
Dangerous wildlife should be term we introduce in Collingwood and prohibit it from roaming at large in Collingwood. Coyotes, coywolves coy dog, wild dogs, bears, wolves, cougar, should be included in this category. Animal by-laws should be expanded to protect residents from dangerous wildlife.
Wildlife advocates/activists do not respect the consequences of dangerous wildlife on residents in Collingwood. We all want to coexist with enjoyable wildlife in Collingwood and protect all wildlife in their natural habitat, but packs of dangerous urban coyotes within the city of Collingwood, on our streets, parks, trails and private properties should not be the vision of coexistence or the context in which it should be used.
Protection of Wildlife in Collingwood
It is misleading to suggest the protection of coyote wildlife in Collingwood actually protects wildlife in Collingwood. The protection of urban coyotes is devastating the enjoyable wildlife in Collingwood. Residents are reporting the devastation of deer, rabbits and swans which are enjoyable wildlife in Collingwood. Residents are actually witnessing and finding the remains of the horrific destruction of wildlife on their properties rather then continuing to enjoy our wonderful enjoyable wildlife.
Coyote Concerns Collingwood – Petition
The request to remove coyotes from Collingwood is based on the need for public safety, quality of resident life and pet life and protection of enjoyable wildlife.
Collingwood Animal Right Advocate – Petition
This is misleading residents as coyotes are grouped with the protection of wildlife.
A resident perspective in response to this petition.
Consequences of Existing Coexistence Policy by Collingwood
The consequence of coexistence with the urban/habituated coyotes has played out in Collingwood under the current coexistence policy with the outcome of having created danger and a threatening situation for pets and potentially people – small children, pet owners protecting pets or people caught between a coyote and prey.
Residents have complained and have been dismissed under the current coexistence policy proposed by Staff in Staff Report C#2018-10 and approved by Council to date. Many pets have been attacked and killed, residents are threatened and the quality of life in parts of Collingwood has deteriorated with the deterioration of safety.
If you examine the testimonials by residents you will realize the current policy has failed. You will also realize the comments relating to the proposed recommendations in Staff report C#2018-10 are ridiculous and clearly not in the best interests of residents.
Standing Committee Meeting 04-09-2018 – Recording;
The testimonials by Collingwood residents on the impact of the current coexistence policy begins at time stamp 1.05:41
Staff Report C2018-10 Coyote Management – Analysis and Comparison to Resident Report Recommendations
https://collingwood.civicweb.net/document/11435 (see coyote management)
Staff Report recommends the following:
Council approve and support the Coyote Management / Communication
Plan and practices in place regarding co-existence with coyotes, enhancing the public
education and awareness campaign, AND FURTHER THAT Council request assistance from local physicians, veterinarians, wildlife experts and residents, regarding coyote encounters / conflicts
with pets and humans, in order for the Town to collect and monitor further data against baseline information to determine if a coyote trapping program should be supported in areas where it is determined that coyotes have become habituated and may pose a higher risk in a localized area of the community.
Issues identified in the Staff Report:
- Staff: All department heads have reviewed and accept coexistence policy being recommended to Council.
- No resident review or consultation before the report was issued.
- Analysis Section 4 of the Staff Report
The first numbered points are from the report and the indented numbered comment is a resident perspective.
- Staff: Collingwood has seen an increase in the number of coyote
- Resident: Report fails to acknowledge attacks and killing of pets and the fact that sightings are concerns.
- Resident: Report fails to demonstrate the areas coyotes have been sighted in to demonstrate the magnitude of this issue.
- Staff: The Town has created a wildlife webpage containing, among other things, information regarding how to prevent encounters with coyotes and how to react if you do find yourself in proximity to the animal
- Resident: The Town has failed to advise residents of the danger of coyotes.
- Resident: The Town has not put measures in place to remove the danger.
- Staff: Officers are not trained or experienced in wildlife matters and are not
equipped to deal with or assess wildlife. (reference is by-law officers)
- Resident: These are the people who created the staff report and are recommending policy which affects the safety of residents and pets – the policy to allow coyotes to roam at large.
- Resident: We need to engage wild life professionals to remove coyotes from Collingwood.
- Staff: 198 reports filed (sightings)
- Resident: Residents have made these sightings as they are concerned and threatened by the presence of coyotes. The staff has been misinterpreting this data as a need to educate residents to not fear these animals and how to coexist
- Residents have evolved communications to report coyote sightings among residents for safety reasons.
- Many coyote sightings have not been reported the Town of Collingwood or OPP as residents realize no action will be taken.
- Staff: By-law staff does not currently follow up with coyote reports
- Resident: Pets are being attacked and killed with no follow-up or action.
- Staff: Between March 23, 2018 and March 29, 2018, the by-law department has been made
aware of two suspected coyote attacks on two different pets (domestic dogs) in the East
end of Collingwood, near Blue Shores subdivision. The first incident resulted in the
unfortunate death of a 13 y/o dog and the second suspected attack resulted in a $1000
+ Veterinary bill. Town staff followed up with the owner(s) of these dogs in both reported
Prior to the two reported cases, Town staff were only aware of one other incident that
allegedly occurred on January 23, 2018, involving a domestic dog being attacked by a
coyote outside of its home on Georgian Manor Drive.
- Resident: There are many more missing pets and killings we are becoming aware of through Coyote Concerns Collingwood efforts.
- Staff: While trapping may be an option, the trapper agreed that fearless urban
coyotes would likely continue to be an issue unless the root causes of the problem have
been addressed. Regardless, if there are specific habituated coyotes that are posing a
significant threat to public safety, Council may want to consider a lethal removal option.
- Resident: Removal of coyotes is the resident recommendation under current laws in Ontario. The continued presence is a threat to public safety which include pets.
- Staff: The trapper indicated that he has received a request from an individual on Georgian Manor Drive, and based on the information provided, it appears that a pack of three coyotes have taken territory to this area. According to the trapper, residents are concerned that these three coyotes are posing a threat to pets and people living in the area. The trapper was requested to set up traps on three different properties but determined them not to be appropriate / safe locations to undertake a trapping program. If the Town decides to pursue trapping coyotes in this or other localized areas, more appropriate areas could be identified.
- Resident: This is not the case. The resident was in fact Jeff Brown who the trapper would not trap for without Town of Collingwood approval. The sites which residents approved were too visible for the trapper but could be effective. If the Town was to work with residents; Town property in the East Collingwood area could be used with resident private properties.
- Staff: MNRF “the key to addressing conflicts between people and coyotes, particularly in urban environments, is to focus on what people can do to coexist with coyotes and to ensure that urban coyotes maintain a healthy and natural fear and avoidance of people.
- Resident: Problem is the MNRF is responsible for controlling the coyote population through authorized trapping and hunting programs. MNRF has failed in population control and is now are advising residents in cities such as Collingwood to coexist.
- staff: Coyote conflicts with dogs and cats are a fairly common occurrence in urban areas. It is not
uncommon for habituated coyotes to go after small dogs. Even non-habituated coyotes
that are fearful of humans may view cats or small dogs as prey.
- Resident: The coexistence policy acknowledges small dogs are at risk. In Collingwood we have had several dogs killed and attacked. This is part of the misleading aspect of coexistence policy – advocates of this policy accept the death of dogs and cats. Pet owners are expected to take unreasonable precaution to allow a urban coyotes to roam at large.
- Staff: Staff recommend Council support and approve the Coyote Management /
Communication Plan, attached as Appendix C. Staff will increase the awareness
campaign, in addition to the already planned session being hosted by the Library with
Coyote Watch Canada on co-existence with these animals.
- Resident: This is very disturbing and misleading. Education is always important but a coyote advocate group is not the appropriate source of the education. An unbiased and responsible education program needs to be developed with residents and pet protection in mind and not urban coyote protection in city habitat.
- Resident: Coyote Watch Canada is often used by coexistence programs to reinforce the blame on residents. Part of their formula is suggesting an investigation is necessary to determine which resident(s) are feeding the coyotes – they visit sites to try and make this determination and blame residents while protecting coyotes roaming at large in cities.
Consequences of Staff Report C#2018-10 – Resident Perspective
- The quality of life has deteriorated under the current coexistence policy. The presence of packs of dangerous urban coyotes has created fear in Collingwood residents.
- Fear to let their pets out on their private properties.
- Fear of walking their pets.
- Fear of individuals being on our streets at day or night.
- Fear to use our parks and trails.
- Pets have been attacked and killed.
- Residents are asked by the coexistence policy and forced to make unreasonable investments for protection; costing residents financial harm in addition to the emotional damage such as stress and hopelessness of Town of Collingwood’s failure to act.
Recommended Solution from Staff Report
- The solution of Staff Report C#2018-10 is to educate Collingwood residents to coexist and live with this fear while taking precautions to protect our pets and children while dealing with coyotes on a case by case situation.
Resident Report 04-12-2018 Coyote Concerns Collingwood Recommendations
- Remove urban coyotes from Collingwood which are frequent in areas of Collingwood. Their presence is threatening residents and pets and is dangerous.
- Abandon coexistence policy followed to date. (urban coyotes roaming at large in Collingwood)
- Establish a Town of Collingwood Urban Coyote Service that responds to urban coyote sightings and uses wildlife agent(s) to remove urban coyotes from Collingwood.
- Educate people on the danger and threat of urban coyotes, precautions to take to avoid harm to pets and children and the process to communicate their concerns to the Town of Collingwood for immediate action to remove the threat.
- Develop an appropriate communications program needed to be developed and distributed to residents. This must be done in collaboration with resident input and advisers – resident oversight committee.
- Develop an urban coyote long term population control plan to prevent coyotes from entering Collingwood and becoming habituated in Collingwood.
- Work with neighboring communities to jointly address population control of coyotes and prevent coyotes from becoming habituated within our populated areas.
- Develop an education program to protect wildlife of Collingwood by preventing the devastation of enjoyable wildlife in Collingwood from urban coyotes. Educate coyote advocates/activist and animal activist that Collingwood protects enjoyable wildlife in Collingwood.
It is important to understand the impact the coexistence policy is having on residents and pets in Collingwood. A sample of comments from Coyote Concerns Collingwood Facebook Group and petition are presented below.
Comments by Residents – Taken from Coyote Concerns Collingwood FaceBook Group
John “Personal safety and enjoyment of property should always take precedence over coexistence. To paraphrase Councillor Lloyd, Councillors are elected to act on behalf of the people, not the coyotes.”
Janet “Mentioned in an earlier post my city friends are hearing about our coyote problem and phoning me asking if it’s safe to come here!!Tourist is one of the biggest incomes we have here and speaking as a small business owner along with owning a dog and cat!Wake up Council!!”
Janet “My friends in Toronto are hearing about our coyote problem and phoning me!Word travels quickly and soon Collingwood may not be the chosen getaway for the weekend!Wake up town council Tourism puts thousands of dollars into this town and I speak also as a small business owner along with owning a dog and cat!!”
Heather “I found a swan carcass and possibly an owl carcass in the swamp area in blue shores next to where people sit on the picnic bench to watch the sunsets, which seems to be their feeding area. This is also where I found the remains of my beloved dog that they killed”
Chelsea. “Hello Jeff, I’m contacting you because I know you are an active member within the coyote Facebook group and are acting as a voice for the residents of Collingwood during the city council meeting on Monday. I thought it may be beneficial if I shared my story with you. On Tuesday morning my dog was let out as per our usual morning routine. A routine that she has been doing for the last 15 years of her life safely. In just seconds she disappeared from our view from our kitchen window. My family was desperately searching for her, and instead of finding our beloved dog my mother found blood. This has left my family absolutely heartbroken, we have just lost a member of our family. There isn’t anything more heart shattering than losing someone you love, especially in such a vicious way. However, I want to put all my pain and energy into ensuring that this will not happen to other families. I want to ensure no other families have to endure the pain mine has been going through since Tuesday. This is a problem that can be solved. Collingwood citizens should not have to fear for their safety and the safety of those who they love. The coyotes are terrorizing our city. I never knew how bad the situation was until this tragedy happened, but this is why it’s important to bring it to light. Not only are the coyotes killing the deer and rabbit population, but our beloved pets as well. I hope my story has helped with your speech for the council. Thank you for taking the time to read it”.
David ” Like others, i have no desire to “co-exist” with bears, cougars, coyotes or any other creature that threatens my peaceful, safe and orderly enjoyment of my property.”
Julie ” I was also angry when I read the town’s recommendations. This is no way to live. My daughter saw a coyote walking beside our house this morning at 7:30am. Second time we notice. I feel fearful every time I step outside! I worry about my kids going to the bus stop.”
Lisa ” I won’t let my teens use the Spruce st trail short cut to get to CCI anymore. Also won’t take my 8 year old twins on trail hikes. I’m 5 feet tall. How large does one need to be to scare them off? They need to go!!”
Corrie “Council needs to know this to make more informed decisions regarding the very aggressive coyotes at GMD and Blue Shores.”
Tania “I absolutely love Collingwood, although at this point, i am considering taking our investment property and future properties! on the horizon outside of Collingwood- this issue has upset not only the residents, but us weekenders who contribute to the tax base and use minimal amenities!”
Kelly “I am a big fan of saving wildlife, and I never wish any harm placed upon them – sadly this is situation that is out of control, one again because of someone of authority not taking hold of the situation because it does not affect them. The town won’t remove old destructive trees, because they are dictated by the “tree huggers”. The town is still entertaining the idea of bringing in a casino because they are dictated by investors. Unless they lose their family pet, a child, or have virtually had the crap scared out of them they do not react to anything. Coyotes, Bears or wolves do not belong in our town! ”
Clinton “They’ve been on my little street a few times, on spruce and water street. They run the path behind balsam street. They’re also up near the tenth and cameron street trails. Seen this everywhere in town and have zero power to do anything!”
Lisa ” Why are so many people assuming we want them killed. No one has ever said that on this site. Trapping is Not killing…duh We want them controlled, relocated…Not killed!!!! We want our “pets” safe not killed either. Contrary to the activist site, in blue shores and along GMD there have been 2 dogs killed and 4 dogs attacked in the past 2 weeks.”
Diana ” Well it started to get light yesterday when I took my little guy out and that when I seen the coyote he was hiding I the trees of my neighbor yard”
Diana ” Those who oppose should do their home work, I have a fenced in yard and there was one on the other side of it this morning. At what cost will the town step in when a child or adult get hurts. This is our good old taxes dollar at work.”
Krista “I have two young boys and two dogs, all of which frequent the Nip Scooner Park, or at least used to. My boys are just old enough to go to the park unattended, and the park is the only one in the neighborhood close enough for them to do so alone. They are also now just old enough to start taking the dogs for short walks alone, again, Nip Scooner Park would have been an ideal location for them to do this at but now that the Coyotes have moved into the area and are clearly displaying brazen aggressive behavior, there is no way that we would ever dream of letting them do this. I’m sure I am not the only parent that will keep our kids away from this park, and how sad that our children are not able to walk our neighborhood with their pets, or play at our neighborhood park, all because we are being forced to cohabitate with wild animals, animals that are attacking and killing our pets and animals that could very well attack our young children that weigh less than some of the dogs that have been attacked. I feel helpless and scared even for myself as I no longer care to walk my dogs alone. What has happened to the beautiful town of Collingwood?”
Paula “Also out near Erie Street/Ontario st area including the legion park and also connaught public school”
Kelly “This article raises the problem that we have been living with – their behaviour is different than ‘normal’ and biologists are stumped as to why….
Regardless of ‘why’, their behaviour has become increasingly aggressive and is a Real threat to humans and their pets – all day, every day!!
Cohabitation is Not an option! They case our homes, show aggression, and thus we cannot let our pets out of our sight – in our own yards! Pet tragedy (attacks and death) has and is currently happening – to us and our neighbours and our beloved pets. Praying human tragedy isn’t what sparks action.
Come On Town of Collingwood!! Time For Action is NOW!!!”
Emerald “They frequent the park beside the legion across from me.”
Christine ‘ My husband is a lawyer and told me a couple of weeks ago they watched at least one coyote walking behind the courthouse in the middle of the day.”
Please review the comments at the Coyote Concerns Collingwood petition;
Some have been displayed below in this report to safe you time and allow you see in summary the fear, threat and death caused by your current coexistence policy.
“Their presence is changing the way we live, they are a constant threat. Impossible to co-exist with a stalking wild animal!!!”
‘I have live here for over 28 years raised my children here and now I have a grandchild not only do I have to worry about my dog now I have to worry about grandchild. My yard is fenced in I did one morning find one trying to get into my yard…”
“The coyotes are dangerous & have no fear of humans. I have seen them at 9:30 am. They are attacking larger dogs now. We have many small grand children in our area on the weekends. Women are afraid to go across to a neighbour’s house at night. We are not allowed to fence our property to keep them out. The coyotes must be disposed of.”
“Our dog was bit by coyotes in our backyard; we have been approached by coyotes on our street; we are deeply concerned for our child’s safety. We are awoken most nights by the howling pack that lives in our neighborhood. We would very much like to feel safe here again.”
“This has been a problem in many communities and needs to end before more people or pets are hurt or killed. If the communities continue to ignore the problem it will only grow larger and larger each year coyotes will continue to breed and grow in numbers then it will be too late. Now is the time to act.”
“I am afraid for my small dog, have seen these animals around my yard which is fenced but they can jump fences I hear. That’s no good, we have the right to be not afraid to take our pets for walks and to leave in fenced yards.”
“I have seen coyotes regularly this past 5 months in and around my yard, mostly at night but have had some sightings during the day. They are bold and present a risk factor to children and appear to be getting used to humans around. I have lived in the Collingwood area for over 45 years and have never seen a single coyote up until recently when I have had numerous sightings. They are a danger to our community and are overpopulated.”
“I’m signing because I think residents have the right to be safe from these animals.”
“Wake up Town of Collingwood!
These are documented threats to our communities!”
“i have had half alive deer left on my property by coyotes and have had coyotes on the other side of my fence going after my dogs”
“Something MUST be done about the coyotes in our town,for the saftey of our children and our pets.We are living in a prison,confined to our homes,out of fear… Get your shit together Mayor Cooper and town counsellors and do something to help us…. Are we going to wait until a child or any other person is attacked?Pets have already been attacked and killed by these coyotes!”
“I worry about walking my dog at night especially because I’m so close to the trails and I can hear them howling not far from us”
“Living on the trail system with three young kids and our family pet. I’m afraid to go out of the house at dusk. The coyotes have also been present in the Connaught school yard this is completely unsafe for our children.”
“Collingwood residents need to feel safe again.. something needs to be done before the town is overrun and the inevitable happens-a child being harmed.”
“We need action immediately… I have seen plenty out in cranberry and can hear them nightly close by…”
“I have two young boys and two dogs, all of which frequent the Nip Scooner Park, or at least used to. My boys are just old enough to go to the park unattended, and the park is the only one in the neighborhood close enough for them to do so alone. They are also now just old enough to start taking the dogs for short walks alone, again, Nip Scooner Park would have been an ideal location for them to do this at but now that the Coyotes have moved into the area and are clearly displaying brazen behavior, there is no way that we would ever dream of letting them do this. I’m sure I am not the only parent that will keep our kids away from this park, and how sad that our children are not able to walk our neighborhood with their pets, or play at our neighborhood park, all because we are being forced to cohabitate with wild animals, animals that are attacking and killing our pets and animals that could very well attack our young children that weigh less than some of the dogs that have been attacked. I feel helpless and scared even for myself as I no longer care to walk my dogs alone. What has happened to the beautiful town of Collingwood?”
“The town should step up to the plate before they have a class action law suit on their hands due to a disaster, God forbid, of injury or death to a human.”
“I have spent a lot of time researching this issue and communicating with the Town of Collingwood to uncover a misguided coexistence policy while coyotes are attacking and killing pets in Collingwood. This needs to stop with the removal of coyotes immediately and to return parks, trails, streets and private properties back to a safer state.
The lack of control of the coyote population is a scandal with millions of dollars being paid on coyote damage compensation and the creation of government jobs – all paid by taxpayers.”
“I’m signing because they pose a risk to myself and our pet, they come right outside my door and yip for the dog. They stay close even when I’m with her and she’s constantly on guard, so much so she won’t do her business. It’s also not only at night; I’m asking for help with displacement as the town is encroaching on their habitats.”
“Our dog was attacked in our back yard Tuesday night and required 50 stitches. He is a large dog and I was standing not 25 ft from him when he was attacked. The attack was less then 10 seconds”
“Our dog was taken from our back steps , carried away and gutted by coyotes on Friday night luckily after hours and hours of searching we found some remains. It is horrific to see that done to someone you love so much. He was almost 14 yrs and healthy and did not deserve to be killed in his supposed safe place. We are devastated by our loss. Please support us so this won’t happen again.”
“We lost our fur baby about a month and a half ago to coyotes in Collingwood ”
“Coyotes got our dog this past weekend in blue shores ”
“I live off off georgian manor drive and am terrified to bring my small child outside for a walk or to nip spooner park. We should not have to be afraid to enjoy our own property! This is a primarily urban area and the town needs to take action.”