When a Highlands resident let out their dog in their fenced yard in the morning on June 16, it was just like every other morning. And then it wasn’t. The residents 13-year-old medium-sized canine was brutally attacked by two coyotes.
Although the dog was immediately taken to the VCA pet hospital on Sepulveda, the animal could not be saved.
The family is in shock and wanted to warn others that letting your dog out in a yard might not be safe.
Highlands Summit Club director Rebecca Wade sent out a June 16 notice: “I am sending out this advisory on coyotes due to a report that was received today concerning a coyote attack on a family’s medium-sized canine while the animal was in the rear yard of the residence, which is a highly irregular occurrence.
“We want to be always proactive and help to ensure your family members safety, even the ones with four legs. Please feel free to post, forward or otherwise share the advisory with friends and neighbors.”
ACS Patrol Captain Aaron Sias also sent out a Coyote Advisory to Highlands residents acknowledging the attack and added another incident.
“We have also received a report of another client’s nanny not wanting to exit her vehicle due to a lone coyote remaining around the vehicle for an extended period, despite the nanny making noise and trying to scare it away.
“Relocating problem coyotes is not an option as it would only serve to move a problem to another neighborhood, which is not a solution,” Sias said. “Limiting access to human and pet food, or other attractants can prevent this type of change in behavior from becoming an issue in the first place.”
The advisory included the following safety tips:
- Always keep trash, recycling, and compost in wildlife-resistant containers.
- Do not feed pets outdoors or remove food at night. Bring pets inside at night.
- Remove human or pet food and strongly scented items from yard.
- Clean garbage and recycling bins with bleach or ammonia.
- Remove attractants such as fallen fruit. Keep bird feeders clean and maintained.
- When you are walking your dog in areas known to have coyotes, carry a loud whistle of even an umbrella that one can open and close rapidly to scare them away.
Coyotes weigh between 18 and 40 pounds, and can run at speeds of 25 mph and sprint up to 40 mph. They have been known to scale fences upwards of six feet in height.
Residents are also reminded that coyotes eat rodents, small mammalian predators and sometimes they may eat rattlesnakes and scorpions. They are considered opportunistic and may go after small dogs and cats. Coyote scat is beneficial because it distributes seeds of plants, such as the saguaro cactus, which is endangered.
The City of Los Angeles gives the following suggestion if one is approached by a coyote. “Wave your arms. Shout in a low, loud tone. Throw objects at the coyote while maintaining eye contact. Make yourself look as big as possible. If you are wearing a jacket, take it off & swing around over your head. If possible, go towards active or populated areas but do not turn your back and run, because that could trigger a chase.”