PHOENIX - The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is sounding the alarm, because coyotes are getting sick from poison around homes.
Officials with SWCC said numerous coyotes have been found dead or in a state of near-death as a result of poisoning due to rodent poisons. They are specifically seeing this problem in Sun City and Surprise.
"A lot of different signs of pacing, looking like they're lost, or their gait has changed," said Dr. Jaclyn Cubillas, a veterinarian with SWCC. "They're walking funny, head pressing, things like that, and so in cases where we have neurological signs, those are going to be really critical that we have those animals rescued and brought in."
Dr. Cubillas said the problem starts with homeowners using rodenticides around their homes.
"Typically, the ingestion aspect is how our wildlife population is exposed, so either through eating a rodent who ate the rodenticide, or eating the rodenticide themselves," said Dr. Cubillas.
One caller from Sun City told SWCC they found a coyote laying lifelessly in a pile of its own excrement and vomit. It was brought in for treatment, but did not survive.
"Anytime we have any kind of rodenticide toxicities, we definitely run the risk of losing a portion of our wildlife population, and it's not just coyotes that are affected," said Dr. Cubillas.
At SWCC, there are two young mountain lions there becauseare living at the conservation center because their mom died of rodenticide poisoning when they were young.
"Typically, with our newer kinds of rodenticides, the chemicals are meant to be really strong, so one ingestion in a rat is lethal, and so because of that, it's becoming more lethal when a predator species consumes that prey animal that has died," said Dr. Cubillas.
Dr. Cubillas says to avoid harming wildlife, people should talk to their pest company for other, less harmful pest control methods.