[UPDATED with Hunting Season Open:] Coyotes Knock Down Woman, Snatch Her Yorkie
Following Tuesday morning's attack that knocked down a 64-year-old Laguna Woods woman and ended the life of her 12-year-old Yorkie, the City Council for the town of mostly retirees voted last night to declare hunting season on coyotes.
Licensed exterminators, veterinarians or other "animal-control professionals" (read: bounty hunters) can now get permits to gun down coyotes in Lagunas Woods following the council vote.
City leaders explained the "urgency order," which goes into effect immediately without the need for a second reading at a later council meeting, is vital not so much because of the recent rash of coyote attacks and pet snatchings blamed on the roving beasts, but the possibility of even more to come.
Limits on hunting hours, locations and weapon calibers are spelled out in the licenses to kill.
UPDATE, JULY 27, 12:49 P.M.: The woman knocked down by two coyotes who snatched and killed her 12-year-old pet Yorkshire terrier Pooh has been identified as Karen Sherif, 64, of Laguna Woods.
The Laguna Beach Police Department, whose Animal Services division took Tuesday's 10:10 a.m. call, set two traps after the attack, but the coyotes have so far escaped capture.
Here's the account Sherif provided to the Los Angeles Times:
Pooh, a slow mover, stopped to smell a bench on Via Alhambra, and Sherif walked a few steps ahead. All of the sudden, she heard a yelp and turned around to find a coyote with her dog in its mouth.
"I just started screaming at the top of my lungs," Sherif said.
The coyote took off, dragging Sherif into the road by Pooh's leash. Sherif let go of the leash as she fell, and neighbors rushed out of their homes to help. One called the police and another ran after the coyote.
But it was too late. Pooh's body was found about 100 feet away, her neck broken.
Laguna Beach's Animal Services division previously put out this primer to help Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods residents deal with coyotes and predatory cats
No word on whether one coyote remarked to the other while dashing away that the pooch's liver would be served with some fava beans and a nice chianti.
Spotting coyotes at night or around sun up is not unusual in several parts of Orange County, and Laguna Beach and nearby Laguna Woods has been besieged of late by Wile E. Coyote's cousins snagging pets.
What was unusual about the incident on Via Alhambra was it happened in broad daylight, according to the Laguna Beach Police Department's Animal Services division, which took the original call about Tuesday's 10:10 a.m. attack in Laguna Woods.
Authorities believe abundant plant life brought on by heavy winter rains has drawn to populated areas more rabbits, snakes and mice that coyotes prey upon. The jackal have in turn discovered bounties of dogs, cats and pet food waiting for them.
Folks are advised to keep pets indoors at night and stow away uneaten pet food. Those walking dogs should keep them on short leashes and carry sticks to shoo away coyotes, who are often frightened away by the sight of humans extending their arms out to appear even larger.