Los Angeles, CA — Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) learned today that the cities of Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, and Rancho Palos Verdes have hired the County of Los Angeles Agricultural Commissioner/Department of Weights and Measures to rid the area of coyotes. The County used a .22 caliber rifle and shotgun to exterminate three coyotes, that they deemed a “threat to urban areas,” in the last week
“As I see it, there are several problems with the County’s killing of coyotes. The manner in which coyotes are killed and the logic behind it are risky – leaving the County to play on public fears and the mistaken idea that all coyotes are aggressive,” said spcaLA President, Madeline Bernstein. “Coyotes in the area aren’t tagged and there’s no way of knowing if a coyote you shot is the same coyote who captured a family pet, or acted ‘aggressively.’ Not to mention, shooting live rounds at moving targets in a residential area has the potential to be fatal to the community. If the County deems wildlife should be killed, the wildlife should be humanely trapped and euthanized, not hunted.”
spcaLA urges County Supervisor Don Knabe to rethink the current method. Whereas killing of wildlife considered ‘pests’ is technically legal, spcaLA questions the prudence of this decision. Coyotes attacking pets is a public safety concern. However, shooting the coyotes with .22 caliber rifles and shotguns in highly populated residential areas is as well. Non-targeted animals and humans could find themselves in the crossfire. It is also highly possible that a coyote could be shot, but not killed immediately, leaving it to die a slow, agonizing death. Although it may be the easiest way to rid the area of coyotes, it is not the most humane.
spcaLA asks the public to contact their County Supervisor to advocate for more humane practices when dealing with wildlife populations. While the County rethinks its position, it is up to pet owners to not create or exacerbate the situation.
spcaLA reminds pet owners to be responsible and protect their pets while also discouraging the encroachment of wildlife:
- Secure trash in sturdy plastic or metal cans with tightly fitting lids.
- Do not leave pet food or water outside.
- Eliminate fallen fruit.
- Clear brush, dense ground cover, wood piles, and garden debris where rodents may be living. Reducing the rodent population will eliminate an attractive food source for coyotes.
- Don’t feed wildlife.
- Don’t corner or try to catch a wild animal.
- Keep pets leashed when walking, and do not leave pets outside unattended, especially at night.
A complete list of information is available at spcaLA.com