APD: Don’t shoot the coyotes

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2014

Coyotes spotted in Bellwood have residents of that area concerned, especially after a rabid coyote was found in the Carolina area last week.

Andalusia Assistant Police Chief Paul Dean said the appropriate response when a wild animal is spotted is to call the APD and report it to animal control.

Any time a resident is having a problem with a domestic animal or wildlife – be it a fox, bobcat, coyote, or even a deer in the garden – they need to contact animal control, Dean said.

City ordinances prevent the firing of firearms within the city limits, he said, adding that a nuisance animal permit can be obtained in certain situations.

“It’s different if the animal is a threat to a person or to a family pet,” he said. “You have a right to defend yourself or the pet.”

“Just because it is in your yard, that does not fall under ‘it’s OK to shoot a gun in the city limits,’ ” Dean said.

There also are rules for traps, he said.

“Before you set out traps, you need have to have a permit through the Alabama Department of Conservation, ‘he said. “The regulations on trapping are governed by the Alabama Department of Conservation. Individuals can be ticketed by game wardens for setting traps, he said.

“If you put out a trap in a neighborhood and you catch someone else’s animal pet in that trap, you are responsible; you are liable for any expenses that come along with that from any injuries to the animal.”

As of Thursday morning, no one had complained to the APD, but a Bellwood resident did call animal control to the neighborhood Thursday afternoon.

Thursday morning, Dean said the APD had received a call about a coyote that had been shot in Andalusia and a concern that it was rabid.

“There is expense in having an animal tested,” Dean said. If an animal is not exhibiting signs, symptoms or behavior that leads us to believe it is rabid, we are not going to send it off.”

Dean said it is not uncommon for animal control to be called about wild animals within the city.

“Two or three weeks ago, we kept getting a call about a bear in town,” he said. “The callers reported seeing it around the high school, and they said it was pillaging in a dumpster.”

Animal control officers could find no signs of, nor tracks from, a bear, Dean said.