Pets & Their People / Perspective

Coyote "Invasion" -- Let's Manage It

by C. Miriam Yarden, B.Sc., MS, APDT Contributing Editor

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  • As separately reported in, a community meeting is scheduled later today (June 10) at Hughes Middle School from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on "Living With Coyotes." As previously reported by an ELB family cat was recently killed by a coyote in the area of Contant St. b/w Bellflower Blvd. and Woodruff Ave. Contributing Editor C. Miriam Yarden provides her thoughts on the issue below...and welcomes yours below.

    (June 10, 2009) -- It is springtime and coyotes are giving birth to their kits, which means that they seek out more food for their young. It also means that they tend to come into our neighborhoods more frequently to dine on pet food left outside and occasionally on our small pets.

    While all sympathy goes to those owners whose cats or small dogs have been killed by coyotes, there are steps that can be taken to manage and resolve this heartbreaking problem.

    For years animal control and regulatory agencies, as well as those of us in the animal behavior field have been educating, informing and trying to persuade pet owners to take a few precautions to prevent such loss and sadness. The fact that the coyote dropped his prey when confronted by a human attests that they are shy, easily discouraged and frightened away.

    It is not a complicated method.

    • 1) Never leave pet food and water outside at any time, especially at night. Ask your neighbors to do the same.

    • 2) PLEASE, keep your cats and dogs (regardless of size) indoors after sunset and accompany them on their nocturnal toilet visits to the yard.

    • 3) Do not approach a coyote if you meet one on the street or in you neighborhood, 4) Do not allow small children out after dark unaccompanied.

    For those who advocate shooting coyotes, please read our previous article on on myths and truths about coyotes. Coyotes are intelligent and opportunistic and posses a natural tool for survival. The more you shoot, the more kits are in subsequent litters because you helped create room for them. AND YOU CAN'T SHOOT THEM ALL!

    They are not wolves or mountain lions. Their hunting style is different; they do not hunt in packs, do not menace or stalk people but will take a small animals if they can. So use the sensible suggestions above and let us all calm down.

    By the way, if you meet a skunk in your backyard, run like the wind. You really donít want to tangle with these little creatures. Really, you don't!

    Ms. Yarden's Archives:

  • The Backyard Dog

  • L.A. Sets Poor Example by Undermining Its Own Spay/Neuter Law

  • There Is No Good Excuse -- EVER! - For Abandoning A Dog Or Cat

  • Keeping Tax Collector's Hands Off Our Pets

  • Animals Are Not For Suffocating Or Burning

  • Ensuring Effective Dog License Canvassing in LB

  • Christmas With Your Companions

  • The Other Side of Farm Animal Cruelty

  • The Coyote: Truths & Myths

  • Katrina, Now Gustav...And Thank God! We Have Learned Something!

  • A Toy For Every Animal

  • Foiling Thieves Who'd Steal Your Dog

  • What To Do, And Not Do, If Your Cat Is Freaked Out By The Quake

  • Driving With Your Dog

  • On CSULB's Unwelcome Coyotes & Formerly Welcome Feral Felines

  • Not Merely Birth Control: The Other Side of Spay & Neuter

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