Animal Rights

Will Neutering Coyotes Stop Attacks on Pets?

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

Coyotes attacking and devouring family pets have become an increasingly controversial and perplexing issue for many local governments as urban development extends into areas formerly inhabited only by wildlife.  "No Kill" animal advocates decry trapping and other actions against natural predators and offer various alternatives. 

On March 30, describes passions running high at a Cave Creek, AZ, town council meeting during the discussion of a coyote attack on a beloved Maltese belonging to a local senior resident. The Mayor suggested neutering male coyotes as a solution to curtailing future incidents.  The distraught pet owner disagreed. 

Here's how the debate went, according to


Controversy during Cave Creek Council meeting: are our pets being snatched by marauding coyotes?

"Tempers were flying during Monday’s Cave Creek Town Council meeting. Resident Ada Schwartz, a widowed senior lady, formerly of Long Island, New York, had reported the snatching by a coyote of “Fi-Fi,” her beloved Maltese, last November. Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD) considered it a town problem, but the town council determined it to fall under the jurisdiction of AZGFD. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio stated that his deputies were too busy chasing and jailing the other type of coyote, so he yielded jurisdiction to Cave Creek Town Marshal Adam Stein and his three volunteers; however, this law-enforcement group is presently occupied with patrolling abandoned properties within the town. “Whaddya tawkin’ about?” asked Stein through an interpreter familiar with Noo Yawk speech patterns, “We’re havin’ enough trouble wit’ gobbidge bein’ thrown out in da street! Foggetabouddit!”

"Mayor Vince Francia, drawing upon his pacifist no-kill social and religious philosophy, suggested that Cave Creek’s veterinarians volunteer on a pro-bono basis to neuter (castrate) trapped male coyotes to reduce their breeding rate. Silent until that moment, Mrs. Schwartz rose and indignantly bellowed from the audience, “You schmuck: the coyotes ain’t schtupping our pets: they’re EATIN’ them!”

"A riot followed, Mrs. Schwartz was Tased by the security officer after pouring the contents of a water bottle on the mayor and the town manager promised to have a riot-control squad available at the next council meeting. The controversy is far from over. More to follow next week, after Schwartz posts bond."