WRIGHTSBORO, N.C. (WECT) – “My heart is broken,” said Nina Daugherty. “There will never be another Diva.”
It was like any other morning at the Daugherty household.
Diva, Daugherty’s beloved 6-year-old Yorkie, woke her and her husband up to go outside, cheerful and ready to play.
“My baby girl got me up around 5 in the morning to use the bathroom,” Daugherty described. “I opened up the back sliding door and she ran out before me. I was walking out to follow her down the steps, and before I could get to her she gave two great big cries and she was gone.”
Daugherty and her husband took flashlights and searched their entire property.
There were no signs of little, two-pound Diva.
“It didn’t even take a minute,” Daugherty recalled. “She was gone in just seconds.”
Daugherty has lived in her house in Wrightsboro off of Castle Hayne Road since 1990 and has never had an issue with coyotes until now.
“We have rabbits, deer and couple of little foxes, but we’ve never had anything like this,” Daugherty said. “The next morning there were two coyotes, a black one and a brown one, running together right in my backyard.”
Since she lost Diva, Daugherty and her family have seen several more coyotes, including a handful of coyote pups in her backyard and the surrounding woods.
“Just last night I heard another dog holler right down the road and I’m thinking these things are getting out of control,” Daugherty added. “I’m hearing other dogs scream like their losing their life.”
According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, coyotes are considered a nuisance animal since they live in every county of the state. They say you’re allowed to shoot coyotes if they are on your property.
In Daugherty’s case, shooting the coyotes would be legal.
However, if you live within Wilmington city limits it would be illegal to shoot a coyote even if it were becoming a nuisance on your property, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. This is because it’s illegal to discharge a firearm in general in the city.
If you see a coyote in your neighborhood or if you notice them becoming a nuisance on your property, you can call NHCSO or another local government agency and they should be able to help you trap the animal and release it elsewhere.
“I think something needs to be done about it,” Daugherty commented. “They’re vicious looking. The construction and where they’re tearing down the woods is bringing them out and taking away they’re home.”
Daugherty is concerned about her five grandchildren who like to play in the yard, but also for the students that walk to and from Wrightsboro Elementary School right down the street from her.
“There will never be another Diva,” Daugherty cried. “I want justice for my Diva.”
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