PHOENIX -- A pack of coyotes inhabiting the greenbelt near a North Phoenix neighborhood might have to find another place to howl at the moon.
Residents of the Bella Terra Condiminiums near 52nd Street and Shea Boulevard met Saturday morning to discuss the possiblity of hiring a private company to trap and relocate the animals.
Although Arizona Game and Fish authorities say there is no indication that the coyote population along the greenbelt is rising, residents say the coyotes have been a problem for months.
Arizona Game and Fish says the greenbelt has always been home to coyotes and human-coyote interactions are to be expected.
But residents recently decided to take action after 13-year-old Gracie Herman saw a pack of coyotes maul her dog, Sammy, to death. She said Sammy followed her outside while she was disposing of the family Christmas tree.
"There's just a lot of coyotes and they're harming our pets," Herman said tearfully. "They killed my dog and I'm afraid to leave my house."
Joe DeWolf, of LoneWolf Wildlife & Pest Control in Mesa, said the residents need to decide soon whether to hire him for the job.
"Right now, we are at the very beginning of breeding season," he explained. "They start breeding in January and they're going to have pups in March or April."
But the coyote dens are on private property, meaning the condiminium residents have to get approval from all stakeholders.
Resident Michelle Stratton said she and her neighbors are facing resistance from the homeowners' association.
"(Coyotes) are everywhere and we can't ignore it any longer," she said. "If the HOA, in my opinion, doesn't take care of the issue, then we're collecting funds and we're doing it on our own. But we're going to eradicate them.