CARSON (CBS) — The Carson City Council formed a task force Wednesday to educate residents on how to protect themselves and their pets from coyotes.

This comes after animal rights activists from Project Coyote and the Animal Welfare Institute presented a 10,000-signature petition to the council, demanding the city stop using taxpayer money to trap and kill the animals.

Several residents at the Carson Harbor Village mobile home park have complained they’re being terrorized by coyotes.

“They’re a threat to us now,” said resident Luris Bell. “We’re in jeopardy. We’re walking our animals in fear.”

Over the past five months, 22 cats and dogs have been killed by coyotes in two mobile home parks that border a marsh.

Resident Terri Forsythe said the coyotes come in and leave parts of cats and dogs in the bushes.

Many residents want the coyotes trapped and removed. State law doesn’t allow them to be relocated, so they must be euthanized.

Animal activists convinced the council to hold off on any plans to destroy the coyotes.

“When you kill the alpha male and the alpha female of the coyote pack, that sends word to 10 or 20 other coyotes. Mother Nature has her way of replenishing,” said wildlife expert Randall Massar.

Wildlife advocates said a fence could be erected alongside the marsh or rubber bullets could be used to keep the coyotes out of the neighborhood.

The owner of the mobile home parks has refused to allow the city to come in and trap the coyotes.

However, the city attorney said the owner is now open to the possibility.

At August’s city council meeting, members will consider trapping if the task force fails.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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