Responding to complaints that coyotes have been sighted near a West Hills elementary school, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Laura Chick has asked animal regulation officials to depart from standard policy and begin trapping in the neighborhood.
Chick was instrumental in formulating the city's policy adopted last year that allows trapping only after residents have tried all other deterrents, such as installing fences and keeping pets and pet food indoors.
But in a letter to residents who have complained about recent coyote sightings, Chick said a recent rash of attacks on small pets and the sighting of coyotes near Justice Street Elementary School call for "emergency steps."
Gary Olsen, general manager of the Animal Regulation Department, acknowledged that there is a coyote problem in the West Valley but said he and his officers don't believe trapping will help and are instead educating residents on how to protect pets and children.
"So far our investigation has not found the necessity to trap," he said.
Nonetheless, Olsen said he will continue to meet with Chick's staff to try to find a solution.