Lake County residents fear coyote could attack again

Residents of 55-plus community are on edge

CLERMONT, Fla. – Neighbors in a Lake County neighborhood said Friday they're scared a coyote could strike again.

Residents at the 7 Oaks Co-Op, which is just west of Lake Minneola, called News 6 to get results after Lake County Animal Control told them the agency couldn't do anything to help them.

"He doesn't seem to be afraid of anything or anybody," said Frank Maines, who said he's never seen a coyote around his home in the 32 years he's lived there.

Maines said a coyote grabbed his Yorkshire terrier named Sammy right before Christmas. He said his wife let the dog out into their fenced backyard, and the dog was never seen again.

Now, he said, his other dog refuses to go in the yard.

"He did used to come out here along with the other dog, but when the other one disappeared, he don't come out here anymore," he said. "Sometimes the hair will just stand up on the back of his neck."

News 6 investigated and found out it's up to the residents to get rid of the coyote.

Lake County Animal Control told News 6 they can't help.

The Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife said it's up to the residents to either shoot the coyote or trap it.

Maines said they can't afford to trap it, and he's looking for someone to help him get results.

"We are really kind of strapped right now," he said. "We just turned this into a co-op. We're fixing it up real nice. It's a village where we have 70-, 80-, 90-year-old people, and some of us are real sick."

Until they can get a trap, Maines wanted the surrounding communities to know the coyote is roaming the area, and people better watch their pets.

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