DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — The city of Dublin posted a warning about coyotes, advising people with dogs to stay away from certain areas in Darree Fields Park where coyotes have been observed denning. 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife says:

The coyote is a nocturnal animal, active during the nighttime hours. However, when it is less threatened by man, it will hunt and move from place to place during the day. The coyote will hunt in unrelated (non-family) pairs or large groups. Coyotes are omnivorous and typical foods include small mammals (voles, shrews, rabbits, mice), vegetables, nuts, and carrion. Unchecked, they will eat livestock, particularly sheep and chickens.

The city posted on Facebook saying signs have been posted where coyotes have been observed to be denning has been fenced off. 

“Generally if you take good care of your dog, keep them on a leash, out of trouble, you have no problem,” says Dublin dog owner Michael Setty

Setty brings his 11-month-old dog Molly to the Nando dog park in Dublin often. 

She needs the exercise or else she would be impossible to live with, Setty added. We’re really blessed in this area with a lot of very good dog parks. They are safe and well-maintained.

Nature education coordinator for the city of Dublin Barbara Kay agrees— on a leash or in a dog park is the best place for your dog right now after one dog was bit by a coyote.

Kay says this happened in an open field near a coyote den when the dog was off its leash not in the dog park like some social media reports say.

“Dogs come up on the tree line if they’re off leash [and] most of them will go into the woods a little bit or even into that field behind the woods, said Kay. When we were putting up the fence, we watched a couple dogs coming up doing that, so we had to tell the owners and explain to them it wasn’t safe for their dog right now.”

Kay says this is completely normal for the area. Right now, most female coyotes are about a month or so away from giving birth, so they’re in protection mode and will protect their den areas. 

“Most of our coyotes in Dublin seem to have about four to six pups in a litter, so fairly small, modest litters because there’s not a huge overpopulation of them here despite what a lot of residents might think, because you see one or two and it feels like there’s 100 all of the sudden,” Kay added.

If you live in a wooded area where you suspect there may be a den, Kay recommends you always keep and eye on your small dogs or children if they’re out around dawn or dusk. 

Also, don’t keep pet food lying around because that attracts rodents. That’s what coyotes eat, so it will attract them as well.