ANAHEIM – Residents next to the Braille Institute said they are fearful of at least three coyotes roaming their yards that killed a small dog.
The residents, of three half-acre properties along the 500 block of north Dale Avenue, said they fear for the safety of their children and their pets. And they also worry about the visually-impaired people who take classes at the Braille Institute of Orange County and often walk with guide dogs that could clash with the coyotes.
Braille officials said the campus is only open during daytime hours, and they’ve not yet seen coyotes there.
Brady Post, 47, who lives two doors from the Braille center, said he has repeatedly seen coyotes early in the morning roaming his yard in the last two weeks – then easily jumping a 6-foot-high fence into his neighbor’s yard adjacent to the Braille center.
One morning, he came out and found the carcass of a neighbor’s Chihuahua in the large plot of grass and bushes behind his pool. He dug a hole about 18 inches deep and buried the head and feet that remained.
The next day, the coyotes had apparently dug up and made away with those remains, too.
“I have two grand-babies (ages 1 and 2) that live here with me, and I don’t want to have to lock all of us inside and live in fear,” Post said.
The homes are on the western end of Anaheim, bordering Buena Park. There are no hills nearby, so neighbors say they are stunned to see coyotes in their neighborhood. They figure the coyotes may have traveled along a drainage channel – but even that is nearly a mile away.
“I’ve seen three little ones, but that means there’s likely a mother around too,” Post added. “And that could be even more dangerous if she’s trying to protect her little ones.”
Post said the coyotes appear unafraid of his 130-pound Rottweiler, Roxy, who roams the yard.
He called Orange County Animal Care and the state’s Department of Fish and Game, but he’s yet to get a satisfactory answer, he said.
He was told that he should cut back the vegetation in his yard so the coyotes won’t have a place to live; and Fish and Game referred him to somebody who might be able to trap the coyote – but Post would have to pay for that, he said.
“I’m a taxpayer. I just can’t believe that they can’t take care of this problem,” said Post, who owns a concrete-pumping business.
Kevin Brennan, a wildlife biologist for Fish and Game, said coyotes becoming aggressive toward dogs, cats or squirrels doesn’t mean that they are likely to attack humans.
“We don’t view them as a public safety threat,” Brennan said. “But if residents choose to remove coyotes from their yard, we don’t require that they get a permit. It is up to them to hire a trapper.”
John Orozco, who lives between Post and the Braille center, said he’s seen coyotes in his yard several times. He walks his dog outside “only for potty breaks” and otherwise keeps the dog inside.
“They (the coyotes) are bold,” Orozco said. “The worst feeling is that they don’t seem to be afraid of people – or anything.”
None of the residents had seen coyotes in the neighborhood before, they said.
Gloria Coulston, assistant regional director at Braille, said the campus is on a summer break, so only a few clients use the campus right now. But come September, the campus will be full, with more than 200 clients, many of whom arrive early in the morning.
“We haven’t seen any (coyotes) yet, but it would be a concern for us considering we deal with the visually impaired and, in many cases, their guide dogs,” she said.
Last month in Laguna Woods, a coyote attacked a dog and knocked down a woman. Shortly after, the City Council changed its law to allow for animal-control professionals to use guns to combat coyotes.
Anaheim officials said they were made aware of the recent coyote sighting and they have shared information with residents in the past on how to deter coyotes – removing food, water and trash from yards. But residents would typically be referred to Fish and Game for any additional information, city spokeswoman Ruth Ruiz said. Anaheim’s laws don’t allow the use of guns to control coyotes, she added.
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