LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – A trio of coyotes was caught on video attacking a Lawton family's cat at their home, which is just a few blocks from Tomlinson Middle School. With classes starting Wednesday, the owner, Nancy Barton, is concerned for the safety of the neighborhood children.
"I checked the surveillance video to see what happened and I was so devastated," Barton said. "I couldn't believe we would have a pack of coyotes in the city."
The surveillance video showed three animals circling a truck that the cat was hiding under before one of them finally snatched it, and all three took off. Animal Control confirmed the animals were coyotes but the family is still unsure of where exactly they came from.
Barton said she believes the coyotes came through a hole in a fence near her home and hopes the problem is fixed before another animal or even a child is hurt.
Barton says kids who are on their way to school are constantly climbing the fence and cutting through the woods that they believe the animals are living in.
"We try to keep them from doing it and we keep putting board up and they bust the boards getting through," Barton said. "What do you do if the parents won't just tell them there's wild animals back there."
Barton said her cat, who was 16-years-old and deaf had a routine that it fell into every day, which started with going and sitting on the porch to greet her owners as they left for work. She said she became worried and checked the surveillance video when Monday morning her cat was not waiting and she found chunks of hair in the grass.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I expect I'd have to experience something like that. It was devastating," Barton said.
Lawton Animal Control said coyotes can venture into the town, especially when there are consistently high temperatures and they are looking for water.
They also said that very small children and small animals do need to beware of the animals, but generally the coyotes will not bother larger animals or people.
But Barton says the incident has had a direct impact on the action of the others who live in the same cul-de-sac.
"I've contacted all my neighbors and told them and they're worried about their pets," Barton said. "She's keeping her pets in, he's keeping his pets in."
Barton said she still would like to find the positive in losing her cat.
"They say things happen for a reason and if he was sacrificed to save a child's life, then that may be what God was doing. But I'm just devastated," Barton said.
Barton said this is only time she has ever seen the animals in the neighborhood and that she hopes it stays that way.
It is not Lawton Animal Control's Policy to set the traps for coyotes because it is under the fish and wildlife service's jurisdiction. You can contact Lawton Animal Welfare to get a trap but you will have to set it yourself. Lawton Animal Control will come and collect the trap after the animal is caught.