By Robbie Owens

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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – In the lush woods that surround Cedar Hill, wild animals are common.

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Resident Jerry Bradford said, “I walk with a golf club and my dog, sometimes. But, always with my golf club.”

Now Bradford never takes his morning walk alone. “The cats do roam-and I know that they’re here, so I don’t want to surprise them and I don’t want to be surprised BY them!” Bradford says he hasn’t had to use that gold club…yet. “But, I know how to use it!” he insisted, with a laugh.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

And no, by ‘cat’, he is not talking about your household tabby. Neighbors near Joe Pool Lake report frequent bobcat and coyote sightings.

“They’re being displaced,” says Stacey Copeland, a Cedar Hill pet owner. “So now they’re coming around because they’re finding other things to eat.”

Copeland, an enthusiastic pet lover and owner of Camp Bow Wow in Duncanville, is on a mission to make sure a hungry coyote’s next meal is not a neighbor’s beloved pet.

“If there’s a coyote sighting, I send out a text and then I go online and tell people about it. It’s important… because people need to know that these coyotes are not afraid of humans, and it would take nothing for them to snatch a dog off a leash!”

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So her 6-year-old toy poodle Norm is never free to roam. Copeland says she’s seen from a neighbor’s nightmare that even large dogs aren’t always safe. “Their dog happened to get out of the fence,” Copeland recalled adding, “they found it the next morning and the vet said it was probably a mountain lion that had killed it.”

Wildlife experts say the bobcats and coyotes are not threats to humans and avoidance is the best course of action—keeping small pets close.

Meanwhile, many neighbors call the extra precautions the price of living, well, a little too close to nature. “I wouldn’t dare move!,” insists Bradford with a laugh “Just because of the cats? The cats will go before I go, so… I love it out here! It is great, it is truly great.”

Follow me @cbs11Robbie

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