Sunday night just after midnight, near 76th Avenue North and MLK in St. Petersburg, an officer trained her spotlight and cell phone camera on several coyotes.
At an apartment complex, close to where the officer saw the coyotes, Alicia Montalvo keeps her dog, Katrina, on a leash at all times.
“I'll let my neighbor know because she has cats and they have cats also and they sneak out of the house sometimes so yeah, most definitely,” she said.
“I have seen the coyotes actually catch cats, run across streets, dragging dead cats behind them,” said Joi Brunette.
“Maybe if they did understand what really happens to these cats, they would not let them outside,” said Brunette.
”I’ve always been worried and alarmed for alligators in the lakes around here, ponds and stuff, but now we're having to worry about coyotes is a bit alarming too,” said Hahn.
To scare off coyotes, you can blow a whistle, bang a pot, or just yell. They'll usually run off. Don't attract them by leaving pet food out.
A St. Pete Police officer took videos of the coyotes roaming near 76th Avenue North and 1st Street just after midnight. The officer also reportedly found a younger coyote in the area of 94th Avenue North and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, as well as two older coyotes, spotted near 62nd Avenue North and 1st Street.
"These aren't large dogs, they're coyotes in the city!" St. Pete Police warned in a Facebook post.
Police are urging residents to keep pets indoors in the evening and ask residents not to leave pet food outdoors.
Recently, several cats have been found dead or dismember in St. Pete. A few pet owners believe that someone was mutilating the animals, however, police have stated that they had reason to believe coyotes were to blame.