VININGS, Ga - An animal trapper may have at least partially solved the case of the missing cats for one Vinings neighborhood.
Wednesday morning, Tim Smith of Catch It Wild trapped a young coyote near a neighborhood that in an area frequented by wildlife and missing cat posters.
The Rich family believes they lost their cat to coyotes.
"He went out on a Friday night and never came back," said Carson Rich. "The only thing we suspect is a coyote."
Rich lives in the Paces Manor subdivision where, last week, one cat owner found his pet's collar, fur, and nothing more.
He called for a trapper.
"In the last two years, I've probably caught 20 coyotes in this little area here."
It took Smith a week to make his latest catch.
It's a growing business.
"Every year I get more and more," said Smith. "I probably catch 100 to 150 coyotes a year around metro Atlanta. I do a lot of coyote work."
According to the Georgia Department of Natural resources, the number of coyotes around metro Atlanta has grown over past ten years.
They're typically shy animals that pose no real threat to humans. Coyotes hunt at night and will, on occasion, forgo their diet of rodents to dine on a family pet.
They like the Vinings area because it's close to the Chattahoochee River and Nancy Creek.
"We hear them all the time in the backyard," said Rich. "You can hear tons of them in packs of about twenty."
Because they can carry rabies and other diseases, Georgia law says once a coyote is trapped it has to be put down.