TORONTO, March 2, 2009 – As urban sprawl continues, more and more encounters with displaced wildlife are inevitable, and we need to find ways to co-exist peacefully says The Humane Society of Canada (HSC). No where is this more evident than in the current alarm being raised about a coyote living in the east end of Toronto.

“As a long time Beaches resident, and someone who care about pets and wildlife, I share everyone’s concern and our thoughts and prayers are with the families whose pets have been harmed. However, we need to remember that Toronto is built around an interconnecting system of ravines which act like natural corridors for all wildlife. We have seen everything from foxes to deer in the city. Along with Toronto’s waterfront, we are truly blessed with an abundance of wildlife,” explains HSC Chairman & CEO Michael O’Sullivan, “and we all need to get along.”

“Along with many other wildlife species, coyotes are a fact of life because they have adapted successfully to life in many urban areas across North America. By taking a number of proactive steps we can work to protect our pets and co-exist peacefully with wildlife,” he says.


The Humane Society of Canada recommends:

  1. Coyotes, like all wild animals, will stay in an area if there is readily available food, water, shelter and safety
  2. Do not leave your pet’s food or water dishes outside
  3. Although it may be tempting, please do not feed these wild animals
  4. Do not approach a coyote and advise your children to do the same
  5. Put any bird feeders well above the reach of these animals and clean up any spilled bird seed daily (birds and their nests are a source of prey for coyotes)
  6. When you participate in organic wet waste programs, make sure the lid is securely fastened with a bungee cord or other device, and do not put meat, poultry or fish scraps out until the morning of your organic pickup
  7. Never leave your pets unattended at any time especially at night when coyotes are most active. (keeping your cats indoors will extend their lifetimes keeping them safe from many other hazards and stay outside with your dog in the backyard)
  8. If you do see coyotes in your yard discourage them by making loud noises or spraying them with water
  9. Cut back bushes and other plants in your area that could serve as cover or a denning area for coyotes

“In this specific instance, The Humane Society of Canada recommends that a humane box trap should be set out in the ravine area where the coyote has been spotted, and the animal be relocated to a wilderness area. We are prepared to work with all interested parties to make this happen. However, we need to be emphatic and clear. We do not under any circumstances recommend shooting and killing the coyote. Our experience has been that we need to change the conditions that made it favourable for the first coyote to stay in the area, or killing this wild animal will only open the area for the arrival of a second coyote. More violence is not the answer,” says O’Sullivan.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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