High Point woman says she was chased by coyote while walking her dogs

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- A High Point woman says a coyote chased after her and her two little dogs Tuesday evening.

Lauren Swicegood says she and some of her family members were walking the dogs on the Bicentennial Greenway when they spotted the coyote near the Tarrant Trace housing community.

“I thought it was going to leave and then walk the other way but it turned around and started coming our way,” Swicegood said.

She believes it was going after her dogs, Marley and Layla.

“It sniffed right where they used the bathroom and that's when it started running after us,” Swicegood said.

High Point Animal Control Officer Nate Brown says coyote sightings in the city are common, but experiences like Swicegood's are rare. Coyotes attack small animals, but usually stay away from people.

“Coyotes are generally very cautious creatures,” Brown said. “Even though they are very curious, you might have one come up a within a few yards of you, but they aren’t going to push anything beyond that.”

Brown says the best thing you can do if you feel threatened is scare off the animal.

“In a spot when you become uncomfortable and you see a coyote, make as much noise as you can,” Brown said. “If you've got something small to throw at them, go for it.”

Brown says there are ways to avoid attracting the coyotes. He says people should avoid leaving pet food outside, clean up their yards if they have any fruit trees and make sure there aren’t any opening in their crawlspaces that the coyotes could get inside.

“Generally, it's live and let live,” Brown said. “The wildlife is out here. They're wild. They live wildly and they're all over the place.”