Being a Responsible Pet Parent: Predatory Animals in the High Desert

Photograph by Janice Eck

By Janice Eck

Photograph by Janice Eck

(Hesperia)– The Hesperia Animal Shelter is one of 50 shelters across the nation competing in the ASPCA/Rachel Ray 100K Challenge. With $600,000 in grants including a $100,000 grand prize, Hesperia Animal Shelter is working hard to adopt out 100 pets a week through August. Most of the pets available for adoption are dogs and cats. Some are young and some are old and there are major differences in caring for either. In Being a Responsible Pet Parent Series, we will discuss which pet may be right for you the responsibilities that come with having a pet.

Predatory animals like coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions are no strangers to the High Desert, especially areas closest to the San Bernardino National Forest. As communities expand out, the threat of predatory animals becomes greater and it is the job of each pet parent to keep their fur-kids safe whether small dogs, cats, chickens or goats.

Most predators will look for prey easier than larger dogs, but if you have small dogs or cats that are kept outdoors, keep in mind these tips from Suzanne Edson, Hesperia Animal Control Supervisor. In an interview with High Desert Daily, Edson explains how to help keep your pets safe. “In this area, I almost always tell people if your yard is not secured meaning if your cat can get out, a coyote can get in. Coyotes can jump over 6-foot fences and so if your yard is not secure that your cat can get out then they should be indoor cats. It’s when they could see prey. Coyotes are going to wait to see their prey. We also have bobcats and mountain lions that will go over your fences. Mountain lions really like goats and they’re actually very fond of housecats, but they’re going to stalk their prey, so if they can’t see into your yard, it’s going to be less likely they’re going to come into your yard. They’re going to go after something they can see.”

All in all, the safest place for your pet to be is inside the house, but if you do keep your small pet outside, be alert of your surroundings and get in touch with neighbors about any predatory animal sightings.

Visit Hesperia Animal Shelter’s Facebook Page to view their weekly $15 specials: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hesperia-Animal-Shelter/350115428431332

To see adoptable pets or to see if your pet has been taken to Hesperia Animal Shelter, visit: http://www.cityofhesperia.us/index.aspx?NID=683

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