North Myrtle Beach neighborhood concerned about coyotes

Anita Minervino says she wasn't worried at first when one of her four cats was missing for a day earlier this year. She says all of her domestic cats live indoors and outdoors. But when her third cat disappeared this Monday, she knew something else was a problem.

"Someone said to me it was probably a coyote, and I thought 'no way'. I've lived in this neighborhood for 27 years," she said.

Minervino's neighbor Cynthia Lover said she heard coyotes last night when she was walking her two dogs near the Grand Strand Airport in her North Myrtle Beach neighborhood.

"Whatever it was. {It was} howling. Yip yip yip and awooo, awooo. There was several of them and they all joined in," she said.

DNR's Jay Butfiloski says it's possible for coyotes to be around Horry County.

"We think of them in open places out West, but they are very adaptable to where to set up shop," Butfiloski said.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has never released coyotes into the state for any reason, including deer management, according to DNR's website. Coyotes first appeared in the upstate in 1978. They were illegally imported into South Carolina for hound running. SCDNR and Federal law enforcement prosecutes for this activity.

The last coyote attack dates back to February 2009. A nine-year-old girl was attacked by a rabid coyote while waiting at her school bus stop in the Upstate.