Trapper catches coyote in Sandy Springs

45-pound animal nabbed, may have eaten missing pets.
By Ellen Eldridge  
A local wildlife trapper caught his third coyote in two weeks Sunday morning in Sandy Springs. The 45-pound, gray coyote got caught in a trap near tennis courts on Winterthur Drive, said trapper Tim Smith of  He said a woman called him after losing pet cats, but homeowners associations have called, too.
“We’ve got serious coyote problems,” Smith said. “We get calls every day from people who have problems with missing dogs and cats.”
Smith calls the Chattahoochee River a highway for coyotes and said since he started his Atlanta-area business 14 years ago, he’s seen dozens of wild coyotes.
About two years ago, Smith said he caught seven coyotes near Marietta Country Club in Kennesaw. The largest of those coyotes weighed 90 pounds, he said.
Usually, the deer disappear first, Smith said. The neighbors reported not seeing a deer in three weeks, but when their pets go missing they start calling for help.
Though Smith puts out traps that he checks daily and catches coyotes alive, he has to destroy the animals when he returns to his office.
“Once coyotes start eating domestic animals, they’re going to continuously keep doing it,” Smith said. “They won’t stop.”
Euthanizing the wild animals is the only legal option, said Smith, who is licensed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
“It’s against the law to relocate coyotes,” Smith said. “We do have to put them down; that’s the hardest part of this job.”
Though the trapper gets more calls about squirrels than coyotes, Smith said he feels good about removing dangerous animals that often kill pets.