Courts & Crime

Coyote may be killer for Florida pets

MANATEE -- Coyote predation in Manatee County, which has some pet owners desperate for answers, has apparently claimed another small animal.

After a cat fell prey to a coyote June 9 in the 3500 block of 24th Avenue West in Bradenton, it looks like a 10-pound Maltese dog was fatally bitten June 17 in Bay Lakes Estates off Cortez Road.

Like the owners of the cat, the dog’s owner, Melody Sweetman-Carpenter, was shocked by the death of her pet and wants to warn other pet owners that it seems Manatee County’s highly residential areas have been invaded by hungry coyotes.

The two pet predations are the only ones that have been reported in detail to the Bradenton Herald, but there likely have been others as coyotes spread across the county and the state.

“I can’t describe the grief,” Sweetman-Carpenter said. “Ari was the most loving little dog. She even loved squirrels and ducks.”

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