Warning signs are going up in San Jose’s Santa Theresa neighborhood. And the woman behind the flyers lost her 11-year-old cat on Tuesday.
“He was a great little guy,” Angela Moehring said.
The cat’s name was Goliath, but Moehring says she didn’t stand a chance against this opponent: “It was one of the biggest coyotes I’ve ever seen.”
Moehring said she let her cat out for only about 20 minutes Tuesday morning, as she has daily before heading to work. Suddenly, she heard her roommate’s dogs barking.
A coyote had wandered into the residential neighborhood on Valroy Ct. and jumped over her backyard fence. Moehring says she yelled and scared the coyote off, but it was too late.
“I saw the aftermath: my cat’s back was slit open and his liver was hanging out, and his neck was broken,” Moehring said.
There has been an uptick in coyote attacks within city limits this year, according to San Jose Animal Care and Services.
“We have a handful of coyote attacks this year in San Jose mostly dealing with cats that are left outdoors. It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Jay Terrado, a captain with San Jose Animal Care and Services.
Terrado says it is uncharacteristic for the attack to have happened at 7:45 in the morning, as coyotes generally hunt at night. However, he says the extended drought may be a factor, luring coyotes into neighborhoods to find food and water.
“Once they’re attracted to an area, they’ll pretty much eat anything they can get a hold of,” Terrado said.
As animal services investigates, Moehring is getting the word out by plastering her neighborhood with warning signs to make sure what happened to Goliath doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“I want people to know coyotes are jumping over our backyard fences and killing our pets. And a lot of people have children, and coyotes are known to attack small children when they’re desperate,” Moehring said.
Other neighbors say they saw a coyote walking down Valroy Ct. at about 9 a.m. Friday.
Animal Care and Services recommends not leaving any food outside, and keeping all cats, small dogs and children indoors unless you are supervising them outdoors. And to call (408) 794-PAWS (7297) if you see a coyote in your area.