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'I just want my city back': Fairfield finalizing plan to address coyote concerns

Coyotes in Fairfield
Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 17, 2023

FAIRFIELD, Ohio — The City of Fairfield is finalizing a plan to address an ongoing coyote concern.

Michael Baynes said his dog was attacked by a coyote in October. He’s now speaking out about the issue to try to prevent this from happening to other pet owners.

"I think if I would have been 5 seconds later it would've been bad really bad," he said.

One of Baynes' dogs, Rory, needed to go outside during the middle of the night. Baynes was outside with his dog on the deck, filling up his water bowl. That's when he heard a terrible noise.

"I ran off the deck and around the corner and saw a coyote with one of my two dogs, Rory, in his mouth," he said.

Baynes said he then made a noise and ran at the coyote.

"The coyote immediately dropped him and then jumped over the fence from a straight standstill and took off," Baynes said.

He checked to see how badly Rory was injured, finding two puncture wounds. Thankfully, Rory was okay.

But Baynes is not alone. Coyotes have been a growing concern for many Fairfield residents with kids and small pets. The city council has had multiple discussions on how to address the issue.

"I've attended every single one," Baynes said.

So has Ricky Riley, whose cat was killed by a coyote.

"I just want my city back," Riley said. "I don’t want it to be turned over to the coyotes."

RELATED | 'You’ve just got to be really wary and pay attention': Fairfield sees increase in coyote sightings, attacks

According to Journal-News, in two weeks the city is expected to update legislation to allow the use of cage-type live traps to control the coyote population.

Riley said he found out at the city council meeting that the cost of those traps would fall back on the residents.

"If you call a professional trapper, it's $1,000 to set the trap and $600 if you catch one, and that is all upon the citizen, the city's not going to put any money into this," Riley said.

Baynes said it's a good start, but the plan still needs work.

He said the city has not declared what would happen to the coyotes after it was caught in one of the traps.

Riley said the city needs to be more proactive with the plan. He believes the problem will only get worse, as coyotes will be having their litters of pups in the next 30 to 45 days.

"Fairfield is looking to become a sanctuary city for coyotes," said Riley.

The plan is still a draft, nothing has been finalized. The third reading will be at the next city council meeting at the end of the month.

Fairfield city manager Scott Timmer provided this statement about the plan:

"The City is working in coordination with experts in the field to provide a Coyote Management Plan that addresses appropriate and inappropriate coyote behavior. Additionally, we are incorporating the public input we have received through multiple City Council meetings in an effort to finalize a plan that has a balanced approach between the City and our residents. We have revisions of the plan under review to help provide a framework to manage what will become an ongoing program."

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