Coyote sightings on the rise

GLENDALE — Residents in the city's foothills are being warned: Coyotes are roaming their neighborhoods searching for food.

Pasadena Humane Society workers this week posted signs, which say “A coyote is visiting the neighborhood,” on utility poles in a neighborhood on Allen Avenue, just north of Bel Aire Drive. The workers also passed out fliers warning and informing residents about coyotes.

Harland Sather, 64, of Glendale, has seen coyotes wandering area streets for about three to four weeks.

His wife's parents found a cat's head on the front lawn of his home about a week ago, he said.

“It scared them a little bit,” Sather said.

Coyote sightings prompted officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures to investigate the neighborhood for the presence of the animal.

Department officials told Sather that they would put a trap in his home's backyard next week, he said. The traps are set up near paw prints and only when there is a priority, such as capturing aggressive coyotes, department spokesman Ken Pellman said.

Officials found and captured a female coyote last week near the Allen Avenue neighborhood, Pellman said.

When the coyotes are captured, “they are destroyed,” he said.

The department doesn't relocate the coyotes after they are captured because “it's a slow death, and it's more cruel,” Pellman said. Relocating the coyotes is considered cruel because the animals won't be familiar with their new surroundings and likely won't survive, he said.

The society's workers can't catch coyotes because they don't have permits to do so, society spokesman Ricky Whitman said.

“They canvassed the area and spoke to people to get an idea of what the problem was like,” Whitman said.

The coyotes are coming down from the mountains between dusk and 5 a.m. in search of food and water, she said.

Many coyotes have become accustomed to urban areas and have adapted to living there, she said.

Under Glendale's municipal code, residents are prohibited from leaving food outside their home from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. because wildlife comes down from the foothills.

“Coyote problems have been increasing steadily around the state, and especially in the Southern California area,” said Steve Martarano, state Department of Fish and Game spokesman.

The coyotes are becoming resourceful and are learning to live in urban areas, Martarano said.

Glendale resident Margaret Collins just wants the coyotes to leave her neighborhood on Allen. “They give me cold chills,” Collins said.

She saw a coyote standing near a garbage can, but it didn't move, she said.

“This is no way to live,” Collins said. “It needs to be safe. This is what we pay for.”

?VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at

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