Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

Living With Urban Coyotes

September 28, 2002

Re "Couple in Silver Lake Outraged at Coyotes" (Sept. 22), about the death of my dog: Six weeks prior to the loss of my dog, I attended a community meeting regarding coyotes. I told them that since we moved in, coyotes had been in my yard morning, noon and night. Councilman Tom LaBonge was present and sent his aide to my house to view the DWP's problematic fence line, from which the coyotes have dug holes, allowing them into the neighborhood. I constructed a wall in order to protect my pets. Please realize that the attack not only happened in front of me but that four toddlers live within 30 yards.

I ask that the city put up signs indicating coyote danger, as well as looking into the idea of coyote spaying and neutering. I would also like the DWP to build a proper fence on Armstrong Avenue. People say that coyotes were here before we were--fine, but this does not mean that we ignore the problem. We need to educate the community about the "new" urban coyotes evolving in the area.

Finally, my dog Zu-Zu was not "replaced" by two other dogs. Any animal lover who loses a pet can never truly replace it. I was three feet from my dog when the coyote "brushed" past me and grabbed her--and I will never forget that precious animal looking back at me.

Kelly L. Hunt

Silver Lake

*

While I am sympathetic for David Vernasco and Kelly Hunt's loss, I also feel it is their fault for not providing adequate protection for their pet, not the coyote's for consuming it. I live in Silver Lake as well and have four cats. If you can hear coyotes yipping, it is a good idea to keep your pet indoors, as the coyote does not distinguish between a rat, skunk, mouse or pet when it comes to its menu.

I personally feel the coyotes are welcome members of the community and should not be labeled as pests because pests are what they consume. Silver Lake has no rodent problem thanks to the coyotes, nor are we inundated with feral cats or stray dogs. By eliminating the coyotes from the environment, one can only expect an explosion in the rodent population.

Greg Grasmehr

Silver Lake

*

I live on a property in Tujunga near the foothills. My family has owned this property since about 1919; we have always had many animals over the years and never worried about leaving them outdoors. Last year our two beloved cats, which had been with us quite some time, were brutally killed by coyotes within about 10 feet of the side door of the house. We have had quite a bit of new development behind us; this must have been what made the coyotes come closer, into the more established areas.

Reading the story about the Chihuahua brought back the memories of our slain pets lying on the lawn. We now have two new cats and worry whenever they go outside. I feel that cats need to climb trees and be free to run and play during the day; that's what cats do. Confining it to the house would be worse than death to a cat.

Barbara Hughes

Tujunga

*

I understand the frustration of the couple in Silver Lake who had their small dog killed by a coyote. Here in Carlsbad in San Diego County, we get the same response from officials: Tough luck, you're on your own. My neighborhood is not new or out in the hills; we are close in by the downtown area. I cannot sit outside with my small dog on my own patio. Coyotes have been spotted in yards as late as 9:30 in the morning, and in my own yard as early as 5:30 in the afternoon. Many dogs and cats have been killed, and we are told to spray hoses at the coyotes!

As a taxpayer and voter, I am angry and worried, particularly about the small children in the neighborhood who can't even play in their own yards. Coyotes are not an endangered species but a threat to humans. Why can't they be trapped, removed or destroyed?

Mary Cutius

Carlsbad

*

Coyotes are resourceful creatures. Indeed, part of the price for those seeking panoramic views of open space is facing a greater abundance of wildlife. This includes opossums, skunks, raccoons, birds and coyotes. Wildlife thrives where habitat types meet.

Wild areas adjoining homes mean lawns, water and sometimes fruit trees, bird feeders and pet dishes. These may attract creatures, which in turn attract coyotes. Small dogs and cats in areas adjoining wilderness--this includes flood control channels--should remain outside in secure areas or when supervised. No responsible parent would leave a baby outside unsupervised. Our pets deserve the same protection.

Efforts to curb coyote populations are expensive and produce only temporary results. A better solution is to adjust our behavior. Wildlife will cease to venture into our yards when such forays become less lucrative. A nearby restoration effort increased the presence of the above-mentioned wildlife in my Costa Mesa neighborhood a few years ago. My newest cat remains indoors. The other two are kept inside at night.

Amy Litton

Costa Mesa

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|