Neighbors Upset Over Pet Coyote

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A Licking County family has an unusual pet and it's causing controversy in their Etna Township neighborhood.

The coyote runs freely in the front yard of their home. It plays with the kids and another dog.

"They don't have any kind of protection around it.  There's not any kind of a fence to keep it in,"  said neighbor Brittany Carle.  

The coyote's presence doesn't sit well with neighbors.

"It kind of makes me feel a little unsafe just because it is a wild animal,"  said Carle.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the coyote is deemed a wild animal, but not a dangerous one. When animals are raised on a propagation farm and are never in the wild, owners just need to obtain a permit. That's the case for the coyote being kept by the Etna Township family.

"I'm not thrilled about it.  I've never heard of coyotes being kept as a pet,"  said Susan Hess.

Hess lives right across the street and has a less than friendly view of coyotes.

"We've always had a bad coyote problem out here.  We hear them yipping and howling in the woods,"  Hess said,  "They've killed our cats.  They've killed neighbors birds."

The coyote's owner sees it much differently.  He says he bought the animal for his daughter and that he did his research.  It's six months old. He says it has been a friendly pet.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous.  I mean, everyone's trying to get rid of them. I don't know why anyone would want to welcome one in their neighborhood."

The coyote owner says he will likely get rid of the animal now.  The landlord says he plans to move ahead and try to evict the family.

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