City of Kirkland, USDA kill 'aggressive' coyote after ongoing complaints

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The coyote that Kirkland residents say killed their pets and terrorized the community is now dead.

The City of Kirkland worked with the USDA's Wildlife Services to watch the animal they say stopped being afraid of people. The city authorized the killing, and the USDA carried it out last Friday, the city said.

After coyotes attacked her dog Lucy twice, Deborah Schadt makes sure she’s always by her side.

“We couldn't even let her out in our front little yard without a leash, and I carry a can of grizzly bear spray,” said Schadt.

The most recent attack on Lucy came in February while Schadt’s husband stood just feet away in their fenced-in yard. Schadt said it's likely the same coyote the city of Kirkland announced had been killed.

“It was something that was a last resort for us, and it's something we took very seriously, and it was a tough decision,” said Triplett.

While Lucy survived, others like neighbor Chris Carlson's beagle did not. Kirkland City Manager Kurt Triplett said after receiving more than 20 complaints, they called the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help.

“In this particular case, this one coyote was very large and aggressive, completely unafraid of humans, was frequently approaching humans and leaping over fences in the backyards,” said Triplett. “They concluded this was a real danger to people.”

Triplett stresses this isn't the solution for every coyote and people will need to learn to live among them. Easier said than done for people like Schadt, relieved that one is gone but still afraid there could be others out there.

“After going through it twice, she'll never be anywhere without a leash outside in our yard,” said Schadt.

If you have an aggressive coyote where you live, Triplett suggested contacting your city leaders, who can also work with the USDA. However, they stress the coyote must show aggression towards humans, not just pets, in order for action to be taken.

Triplett said some have asked why kill them instead of just moving the aggressive coyote somewhere else like in the mountains, but officials say once a coyote has gotten use to people, moving them elsewhere won't solve the issue.