Breaking News
More () »

Dallas Animal Services unveils coyote management plan draft

"We're really looking for compliance. We're not looking to prosecute anybody's grandmother," said DAS Director MeLissa Webber.

DALLAS — Six weeks after a 2-year-old boy was attacked, Dallas Animal Services released a draft of a coyote management plan.

It is a move fueled by the community wondering why the city of Dallas never had a plan in place. The first public meeting was met with passionate discourse about the lack of communication and plan to deal with the attack.

More than two dozen residents showed up to the Lake Highlands North Community Center on Monday to get the first glimpse of the coyote management plan draft. 

One of the first things implemented was a coyote hotline to address concerns. WFAA has learned that since early May the hotline received 275 calls within the city and 40 calls outside the city.

But Dallas Animal Services has plans for an interactive online map to track sightings. The department is working with an external city vendor to develop it. 

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

Dallas hopes to take it a step further and utilize technology and the animal services' database to coordinate 311 calls that can relay service requests.

Also in the plans is an anti-feeding ordinance to stop people from intentionally feeding coyotes.

"Neighbors are usually extremely hesitant to call out neighbors when there is a feeding issue," said one neighbor.

The department still needs to run this component of the plan by the city attorney, but fines are being discussed.

"We're really looking for compliance. We're not looking to prosecute anybody's grandmother," said Dallas Animal Services director MeLissa Webber.

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

Each level will come with a different response -- like education, called meetings or even lethal control.

"They just don't have the support and manpower to handle I think this issue and let alone stray dogs," said a neighbor who is calling on the Dallas City Council to help the department with funding for the plan.

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

According to a presenter who spoke at the meeting, that could be in the next several months. Currently there is no online version of the draft plan.

If you'd like to report typical or concerning coyote behavior, you are encouraged to call the coyote hotline at 469-676-9813.

Before You Leave, Check This Out