Human management

Dallas Animal Services unveils coyote management plan

“We’re really looking for compliance. We’re not looking to sue anyone’s grandmother,” DAS director MeLissa Webber said.

DALLAS — Six weeks after the attack on a 2-year-old boy, Dallas Animal Services released a draft coyote management plan.

It’s a decision fueled by the community questioning why the city of Dallas never put a plan in place. The first public meeting was met with heated speeches about the lack of communication and a plan to deal with the attack.

More than two dozen residents showed up Monday at the Lake Highlands North community center to get a first look at the draft coyote management plan.

One of the first things implemented was a coyote hotline to address concerns. The WFAA has learned that since early May, the hotline has received 275 in-town calls and 40 out-of-town calls.

But Dallas Animal Services provides an interactive online map to track sightings. The department is working with an external supplier to the city to develop it.

The hope is that it would help residents and stakeholders “visualize trends within the city”.

Dallas hopes to go further and use animal services technology and database to coordinate 311 calls that can relay service requests.

Also in the plans is an anti-feeding order to prevent people from intentionally feeding coyotes.

“Neighbors are usually extremely reluctant to call neighbors when there’s a power problem,” a neighbor said.

The department has yet to have this component of the plan enforced by the city attorney, but fines are being discussed.

“We’re really looking for compliance. We’re not looking to sue anyone’s grandmother,” Dallas Animal Services Director MeLissa Webber said.

Animal services also seek to adopt a behavior and response strategy. The hope is to establish a process when a resident reports a sighting, pet attack, or human attack.

Each level will come with a different response – like Education, Called Meetings, or even Death Control.

“They just don’t have the support and manpower to handle, I think, this issue let alone stray dogs,” said a neighbor who is asking the Dallas City Council to help the department with finance the plan.

The coyote management plan was relatively well received at the meeting. Webber tells the WFAA that it should be fully implemented “soon”.

According to a presenter who spoke at the meeting, that could be within the next few months. There is currently no online version of the draft plan.

If you would like to report typical or concerning coyote behavior, we encourage you to call the Coyote Hotline at 469-676-9813.