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Tips for Keeping Children and Pets Safe from Coyotes

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Until a week ago, I was aware that coyotes live and breed throughout Southern California but what I did not know was how they have evolved to no longer being afraid of human encounters.

My small and beloved Remy, an elderly shih-tzu mix that has been a member of our family for 10 years, went out of the doggy door, onto our outdoor patio, that is surrounded by a 6-ft. fence on our interior lot. Within a matter of minutes she was brutally attacked and carried off by a coyote in broad daylight.

The purpose of this post is to alert families on the importance of being prepared to help protect their pets and loved ones. Anyone reading this that lives in Orange County can become a victim of a coyote attack at any time. We must be vigilant in helping to defend ourselves against these dangerous natural predators.

In an article that appeared in the OC Register, Kevin Brennan, a Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist, was quoted as saying “When people have a more laissez-faire attitude the coyotes become emboldened and start bullying people.” He went onto say that “Coyotes live amongst us, and if you’re not vigilant, they can become problems.”

It is not just pets that are being hunted; there have been reports of coyotes attacking children in Orange County and a recent episode of a coyote trying to attack a mother and her baby in a grassy open area in a well-populated local community.

One of the biggest issues is that the adult coyotes teach their pups to hunt in the same areas that they do, using the same methods; which makes the cycle continue and the threat to families increase. Coyotes are not protected against being shot in Southern California but cannot be relocated. Communities can hire trappers to help cull the pack and also be a method of trying to regain the upper hand in a situation that seems to be getting out of control.

Here are some tips that anyone, especially if they have a small child or family pet, should consider:

  • Buy and carry a loud whistle to keep with you on walks and in your yard.
  • Purchase an air horn and carry it with you. (Available at Big 5 Sporting Goods)
  • Keep screen doors monitored and do not leave open when you are not in the home.
  • Never leave food outside during the day or night.
  • Do not leave dogs, cats, and children unattended.
  • Purchase a harness for your dog/cat…regular collars can easily slip off.
  • Do not use retractable leashes and keep dogs close to you when walking.
Roxanne Holland is a beauty fashion and lifestyle publicist who owns and operates Quintl
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5 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry about Remy…that is heartbreaking.
    I am in NJ (in the suburbs) and coyotes are becoming a problem here too. There have been several attacks on dogs and humans in surrounding towns. We had one in our yard about two weeks ago, but when it saw my husband, it ran off. I worry because we also have a small dog. I won’t put her out alone or stay out with her too long.

    • Thank you so very much for your kind words regarding Remy, Jackie. Please keep your loved ones safe.

  2. Roxanne I’m so very sorry for your loss and your precious Remy. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. I too am very sorry about Remy…my heart breaks for you.
    We too have issues in Laguna Niguel…I am away from the canyon, but have had a coyote on several occasions sitting and watching my little dogs…while I am outside with them. ‘In addition, my little 18 pound schnoodle was nose to nose with a bobcat.
    We have learned a valuable lesson and always go out with our dogs now.
    Thank you for reminding us all of the dangers!
    Big hugs to you and your family. I am soon sorry!!!!

  4. Thank you Joie and Kate for your kindness. Please help the many families that live in So Cal with pets by helping them to be prepared.

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