Coyote enters house through doggie door, killing pet in ‘unprecedented’ attack

A file photo shows a coyote patrolling his turf in Fairview Park in Costa Mesa
A file photo shows a coyote patroling his turf in Fairview Park in Costa Mesa.
(Mark Boster / For The Times)

Buena Park officials are warning residents to be prepared for coyote encounters after a bold predator recently entered a home through a doggie door and attacked two dogs, killing one in what officials called an “unprecedented” attack.

Noting an increase in coyote reports and sightings, the city of Buena Park issued a release Tuesday asking residents to take preventive steps. The area has experienced coyote activity for several years, including sightings and attacks on pets, and those encounters tend to increase in the spring and summer, officials said.

The warning comes after Scott Goodling of Buena Park told KABC-TV that he came home from work Friday night to find the aftermath of a coyote attack in his kitchen after the animal apparently came into his home through a doggie door.


“There was blood all over the floor,” Goodling told the station.

Sally, a 10-year-old Maltipoo, was killed in the attack. Another dog named Murphy survived, although his injuries required more than $2,200 in surgeries, the station reported. Goodling told KCAL-TV that the incident was the second time Murphy had been attacked by a coyote.

Surveillance video from Goodling’s neighbor showed a pack of coyotes gathering in the street outside his home around the time of the attack, KABC-TV reported.

It’s official: April is now Coyote Awareness Month in Costa Mesa.

March 20, 2019

Although incidents of coyotes attacking pets are not uncommon in Southern California, Buena Park Assistant City Manager Aaron France told KABC it was unprecedented for a coyote to boldly enter a residence through a pet door. He warned residents to take precautions against attracting coyotes into their space.

“Keep pet food inside. Keep water inside for your pet. Keep lids on trash cans,” he said.

On its website, the city of Buena Park recommends that residents living in areas that experience coyote activity remove thick brush and weeds from their yard, install motion-sensor lighting around their homes and avoid feeding coyotes directly or indirectly because food scraps, garbage, standing water and fallen fruit are food sources that may attract the animals.

“The most serious coyote concern is that they become habituated to people, lose their fear of humans and become bolder,” the city warned.

The attack comes about a month after a pet cat was killed by a coyote in the same neighborhood, KABC-TV reported, and neighbors plan to circulate a petition urging the city to hire trappers.


“When they become a threat, we have to do something,” Goodling told the station. “When a coyote comes into my house, they’re now a threat.”

Danielle Martinez donned a lab coat, pulled on a pair of latex gloves and adjusted her safety goggles in preparation for one of biology’s little surprises.

March 23, 2018