LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Coyotes are becoming a growing problem inside city limits.
"I think we should be able to shoot them legally," said resident Becky Klass, who has lost six pets in recent months. She lives in the city limits, which bans the use of firearms. "The city can't do anything and you call wildlife and they say, 'Well keep your pets up.'"
Coyotes have become a growing problem statewide with many cities and towns looking for ways to deal with them. Animal advocate groups, like Project Coyote, say randomly killing the animals will only make the problem worse. Advocates say killing members of a family pack will result in increased reproduction as the coyotes work to replace their family structure. Animal advocates suggest removing pets and food from outside your home.
"I shouldn't have to keep [my pets] in the house," said Klass. "[The city] should get rid of these coyotes."
Klass says they've gotten so bad in her neighborhood that they are now disrupting the local ecosystem by eating up prey that owls typically go after.
"The owls are having to eat my cats too because what they are used to eating is the rabbits and animals running around, but the coyotes are eating everything and now the owls don't have anything to eat."