Tag Archives: coyotes

Commentary: Are HB City Council Members Doggone Hypocrites?

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

If coyotes can no longer prowl our city streets and parks for fresh cat and people meat with impunity, why should dogs be allowed to?

In fact, a city ordinance requires out-and-about dogs to be on a hand held leash six-feet or less in length.

The ordinance is clearly posted in every city park, but maybe a lot of dog owners don’t read. Whenever I walk Sappy, my small but ornery Mini Pin, to the local city park, he is usually the only dog on a leash.

Ten or more dogs are often frolicking about—always without leashes—but usually doing nothing more offensive than mutual butt sniffing. Sometimes, however, you find out why the city’s leash law should be enforced, as I did on two memorable occasions.

The first incident was several years ago. I rode my bike on the street that circles the park when a large unleashed Doberman ran for me at full speed, like a wolf chasing a caribou. I barely escaped.

Are our city parks going to the dogs? Photo: Surf City Voice

The dog’s owner sat on a park bench watching, but did nothing to stop her dog. What would have happened if one of my young children had been on that bike instead of me?

I called the police and the dispatcher said to call Animal Control, which I did, but AC said that it was unlikely that an officer would arrive on time to deal with the dog and its owner.

My next dangerous dog encounter was about two months ago while I was walking Sappy, on his leash, at the park.

Sappy gets very irritated by frisky puppies or larger dogs. Usually, he snarls a bit at the other dog and it goes away or I just lead him the other way by his leash and everything is fine.

But this time two very large and powerful pit bulls, probably well over 100 pounds each, which ran free with leashes dangling behind them, didn’t like the idea of being shooed away by an upstart Mini Pin a fraction of their size. Continue reading Commentary: Are HB City Council Members Doggone Hypocrites?

News Flash: Dog bites man, man gets pissed at coyote

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

The coyote is the predator de jour in Huntington Beach and some of the city’s residents at a recent city council study session were howling mad that city officials hadn’t done enough to stop the crafty predators from invading their neighborhoods to eat their cats and dogs and stalk adults and children.

There were over 2,000 complaints to police about stray dogs last year in the city of Huntington Beach.

A retired police officer who spoke out at the meeting even hinted at vigilante action. “I don’t have a weapon,” he said, explaining his reaction to seeing three coyotes on his street, “but you know what I feel like doing.”

Local politicians, police, Fish & Game and county officials alike got the message and have launched an action plan to help protect the people from coyote attacks.

Councilmember Don Hansen called the issue a “public safety problem” that “we need to deal with and get to the level of eradicating these coyotes, killing them, whatever it takes with the problem ones. I think we need to do that immediately.”

The conflict between coyotes and people in Huntington Beach is real and was outlined in detail recently in the Surf City Voice (Monster vs. Coyote, April 14). As noted in the article, there were 80 complaint calls to the police about coyotes in 2009, a steep rise from previous years. Continue reading News Flash: Dog bites man, man gets pissed at coyote

Monster vs. Coyote: the Great Surf City Land War continues

A long time ago, before people inhabited the earth, a monster walked upon the land, eating all the animals except Coyote. In anger, Coyote attached himself to the top of the highest mountain and challenged the monster to try to eat him. The monster tried to suck in Coyote with its powerful breath, but the ropes were too strong. The monster tried other ways to eat Coyote, but it was no use.

Realizing that Coyote was sly and clever, the monster thought of a new plan. It would befriend Coyote by inviting him into its home. But first, Coyote asked if he could enter the monster’s stomach to see his friends. The monster allowed this, but Coyote cut out its heart and set fire to its insides. His friends were freed. From the monster’s body parts Coyote made the indigenous nations and they flourished. —Adapted from on a summary of the Nez Perce tale of Coyote, the Creator, written by Terri J. Andrew. Turquoise Butterfly Press.

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

In March, Huntington Beach residents living on the edges of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands and the Naval Weapons Station packed a study session held by the city council and Chief of Police Kenneth Small, joined by state Fish & Game and Orange County Animal Control officials.

Metropolitan coyotes: An increasing common sight in the suburbs
Metropolitan coyotes: An increasingly common sight in the suburbs. (Photo not in Huntington Beach)

The citizens were snarling mad. Coyotes were invading their neighborhoods and city officials hadn’t done enough to stop them, they said. The citizens made it clear they weren’t going to take it anymore.

The emotionally charged meeting was a skirmish in the proverbial land war that has dominated the history of the American west since its first European explorers and would-be conquerors set foot on its soil centuries ago.

Until recently, there was no doubt about who was winning that war. But now, the coyotes are fighting back and seem to be winning.

Lisa Comacho, who lives near the weapon station’s wide open fields, sounded desperate and angry as she described to the officials a homeland under siege.

Seven pets and been killed on her street in the past week, she claimed. The coyotes are more aggressive than ever and they no longer fear people. Instead, they growl at them and stalk them when they walk their dogs, she said.

“The other day they ripped into a friend’s rabbit cage….They’re killing dogs and cats,” she complained.

Comacho expressed her ultimate fear, the same fear held by others at the meeting. “All I know is that we bought homes to live comfortably and safely and we can’t let our children out. Babies can’t go in the back yard….What we’re looking at is someday a child getting hurt or killed.”

One young mother said that her cat had been killed by a coyote and that a coyote had torn a dog on her street into three pieces. Sobbing, she pleaded for her daughter’s safety. “Is it going to take my daughter to get attacked in order for you guys to do something?” Continue reading Monster vs. Coyote: the Great Surf City Land War continues