NEW ORLEANS - A Lakeview couple says it was the love and companionship of their pet dog that helped pull them through after losing everything in Hurricane Katrina.
Now she is gone, and they fear others, even children, are in danger if something is not done.
"That's not how she was supposed to go. She's supposed to die in my arms when she's 15, 20 years old," said Lakeview resident Colin Casey about his pet dog.
He and his wife are distraught over the violent loss of Georgette, the Shih Tzu they say was a family member. Saturday, a relative let her play with other family dogs, when a pack of wild coyotes killed her then dragged her back to their den.
"It looked like she had been choked and she had puncture wounds on her neck. Blood was visible," said Casey, who brought her body to his veterinarian.
Casey says his relative was on Wisner near Robert E. Lee, on Orleans School Board property that's supervised by the Recovery School District.
The location is where Kennedy High School used to be located, near City Park.
The relative risked his life to get her body back from beneath vacant modular units used as classrooms after Hurricane Katrina.
Dog, cat and rodent skeletons were everywhere.
"I know someone who heard their cat scream in their front yard and then came out to see that it was killed by coyotes, saw the coyotes running away," said Casey. “When he went to the modular units, he said, ‘It's overgrown and dilapidated over there. There's animal skeletons everywhere.’"
A few months ago a WWL-TV reporter actually saw one of the coyotes early one morning while driving on Robert E. Lee Blvd. near the Orleans Avenue canal. The coyote caused the reporter to brake and then it ran straight up the levee towards the residential neighborhood in the lake area.
A lake area civic leader confirms a wild coyote den was in the Kennedy building when it was torn down and City Park says mosquito control has tried to trap them.
"We've certainly had reports of coyotes in the past. They are very, very hard to capture and we're a park in an urban area, so we don't have people out there with guns. And they just prove to be very, very elusive," said John Hopper, City Park's Chief Development Officer.
The RSD says today is the first it's heard of the problem and will immediately remove the coyotes before the modular units are demolished later this spring.
Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries says nuisance animals are the responsibility of property owners.
It gives permits to companies trained to eliminate them.
For a list of those, click here.
A statement from RSD was sent to Eyewitness News, it said the following:
The Recovery School District takes the safety and well being of the communities around our school buildings and temporary school facilities very seriously. We have recently been made aware of coyotes in temporary modular structures near City Park, which are located at this vacant location until we demolish them later this spring. We are immediately addressing this problem to ensure we are taking proper precautions to remove the animals and prevent this from recurring.
Cay Adams Kimbrell, Chief of Staff, External Affairs