Myrtle Beach neighborhood residents fear coyotes are killing their pets

More than 15 pets were recently reported killed in the Myrtle Beach area's Plantation Pointe neighborhood, and resident Ann Taylor thinks coyotes are to blame.

Neighbors started suspecting something about a year ago when a neighbor found her cat mangled, just a few houses down from Taylor.

Several months later, Taylor says her cat disappeared, and all she found was the cat's collar.

"I looked for her for days thinking maybe she escaped but of course that wasn't the case. I never saw her again," Taylor said.

Around the same time, other neighbors in Plantation Pointe say they spotted coyotes, in broad daylight.

Wildlife expert Nate Hutson, with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, says coyotes have been seen in South Carolina since 1978, and are found in all 46 counties.

"This time of year some of the younger ones that were born in the spring are now starting to expand out a little bit so there may be some more reports of some areas that have previously may have not been seen in," Hutson said. "Coyotes, they're opportunistic feeders, if they can find food, if you leave food out for your cats or dogs outside, they're going to find it and they're going to associate your house with food and they're going to keep coming and they're going to lose their fear of humans."

Hutson says coyotes rarely attack humans and loud noises will usually scare them off.