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LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — Police have a warning for pet owners in Willowick to keep a watchful eye on your small pets as coyote sightings in Lake County continue to rise.   

Recently, Willowick police posted a warning on their website advising homeowners to secure their small animals at night because of coyote sightings in Willowick and Eastlake. Pat French keeps her Daschund, Rocky, inside at night so he doesn’t get taken by the predators.

“Our neighbor is up later in the night and sees them walking around in the neighborhood, looking for whatever they can get. Of course coyotes are dangerous, that would be a terrible thing to have the coyotes take off with him,” says French.

Coyotes were spotted recently along Fern Drive in Willowick. Coyotes are night predators and are known to feed on small animals like mice, rabbits, cats and small dogs. Some people walking their dogs near Lake Erie in Willowick say they will keep a watchful on their small dog when letting them out in the backyard.

“One of us when we let here out will have to just stay and watch her throw the sliding glass door or whatever, I don’t know what I could do against a coyote,” says Joe Saccone of Willowick.  

Willowick Police Chief Michael Lazor says coyotes are very common in all 88 counties of Ohio. He advises homeowners to take certain precautions to avoid the night predators from invading their backyard. 

“One thing to do is make sure any garbage, any of your pet food not left outside at night. If you are grilling, clean up around the grill so the scatterings aren’t there,” says Chief Lazor.

Willowick police advise if you see a coyote in your neighborhood to call 1-800-WILDLIFE and they will recommend a trapper to come take care of the problem.