'Ask The Advocate' is a weekly series. Send your questions to Ask The Advocate, 10705 Rieger Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70809; or email asktheadvocate@theadvocate.com.

Recently, our daughter was banging on my wife and my bedroom door at 4 a.m., screaming that a coyote has attacked her cat. She ran outside and saw the coyote dragging the cat down the street. As she ran after them, the coyote dropped the cat and ran away. The cat was bleeding profusely but still alive. We took the cat to the vet’s office, but it died along the way. The cat had escaped from a well-secured patio yard, then was killed at the side of our property. My question, after reading and hearing this story over and over again in our subdivision, is there anything being done about it? 

"Coyotes are here to stay," says Hilton Cole, director of East Baton Rouge Parish animal control. "Their ability to adapt to changing environments, and change their patterns accordingly, makes their mitigation a difficult prospect.

"Pet owners will need to change the way they keep their pets in order to prevent predation by these wily hunters. Cats in particular are subject to becoming prey because they tend to be somewhat nocturnal like coyotes. Owners should not allow any type of food source to be left outside, not allow their cats to roam — especially at night — and if possible, physically exclude coyotes with appropriate smooth wood type fencing.

"Coyotes are by nature shy and retiring creatures. A professional trapper may help short-term, but ultimately the trapped/eradicated coyotes are replaced by others. It is up to each individual pet owner to take precautions to protect their animals from all sorts of harm around their home, as our domesticated pets have lost certain natural instincts that would usually protect them.

"The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Animal Control & Rescue Center have more information on their websites."

Derelict building

A restaurant at 6166 Florida St. has been burned down for about a year. It’s very unsafe. why has the city taking so long to demolish it?

"The structure at this address was condemned by the East Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council in February 2019, ordering the property owner(s) to demolish the structure and clear the lot," says Rowdy Gaudet, assistant chief administrative officer for Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome's administration.

"Because the order to demolish has not been timely or appropriately addressed by the property owner(s), the City-Parish is currently undergoing the required environmental determinations in order to perform the demolition and removal of the structure. Once the structure is removed, a lien will be placed on the property owner(s) in order to recoup the costs of the environmental requirements, as well as the demolition and removal of the structure." 

Send your questions to Ask The Advocate, 10705 Rieger Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70809; or email asktheadvocate@theadvocate.com.