CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Locals are wondering if recent coyote sightings in Chesterfield have something to do with missing animals in the area.
Pets go missing far too often but in one area, missing cats have become the main focus. Residents are focused on warning others about the issue.
Driving through neighborhoods near Brandermill Parkway and Genito Road offers a scenic ride but a hidden concern is growing in the area.
Since the beginning of August, several cats have gone missing within just a few square miles of each other.
“They all live here and most grew up here,” said Chesterfield resident Michelle Pease. “A lot of them, not all of them are outdoor cats, sometimes they’re indoor cats that happen to get out.”
Pease and Clark Thomas, two neighbors in the area, are concerned about the recent trend and believe it’s more than just cats running away.
Pease hasn’t seen her cat, Pie, since Aug 3. She believes her cat’s disappearance could have something to do with coyotes.
“I started to notice that squirrels weren’t around,” Pease said. “In our area, there are always squirrels.”
Chesterfield Animal Services does not have any recent reports of coyote sightings, however, many residents have mentioned seeing them on social media.
Neighbors want to spread the word, hoping others will keep an eye out for their pets.
“These predators are not leaving the area so they will get bolder and bolder in their search for food,” said Thomas. “And that might involve actually attacking a dog that may be leashed, being walked by its owner.”
Since August 1, more than 10 cats have gone missing from neighborhoods in the Brandermill area.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries shared a brochure on living with coyotes near your home.