Council, Scouts Declare ‘Pets Awareness Week’


La Cañada Girl Scout Troop 561 has designated March 26-April 1 as “Protect Your Pets Awareness Week.”

This special week was endorsed by the La Cañada Flintridge City Council at its March 20 meeting, as many La Cañada families have lost beloved pets to coyotes.

The members of Girl Scout Troop 561 are hoping that more families will remember the importance of keeping their pets safe through this public awareness campaign. The campaign’s slogan “From Dusk until Dawn, the Coyotes are On” will be included on posters placed throughout the city and on the campaign’s website

According to longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident Mary Irwin who recently had her cat Spizzy taken at dawn by a coyote, “She was 19 years old and I was very angry that she died the way she did. I wish I had kept her inside that early morning and remembered that the coyotes are here in the foothills.”

La Cañada Elementary School fifth-grader Matt Singelyn told how it felt to lose his family’s cat, Molly. “I felt sad that my cat Molly died - normal, but still sad. She was eaten by a coyote about two years ago. A tip to keep your pet alive is to keep them inside at night,” he said. The youth has since lost another cat to a coyote and misses him. He keeps an eye out for his dog Morgan and two cats, Mac and Princess.

The girls of Troop 561 also interviewed Hannah Palmer, the Youth and Family Program’s coordinator of Pasadena’s Huntington Gardens. When asked for tips she had for people with pets, her first answer was to keep pets and their food inside at night. She also said to make sure everything is clean. Another important reminder, she said, is that coyotes are good for the ecosystem because they eat rats. They also can be found in a lot of places, so residents have to be careful.

Girl Scout Troop 561 members are doing this campaign both as a service project to help protect area pets and as part of their Girl Scouts’ Bronze Award project.

Troop 561 is made up of fifth-grade girls who live in La Cañada Flintridge. They include Kate Battaglia, Callan Gies, Lynn Gilmour, Katie Goetz, Claire Huh, Brianna Pygin, Samantha Smith and Hannah Williamson. They are led by Julie Battaglia and Cynthia Pygin.

The Bronze Award is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn. The award is given to each girl who works on her troop’s special community service project and fulfills the award’s additional requirements.

Protect Your Pets Awareness Week March 26- April 1


* Have pets wear a collar.

* Bury the bottom of your fence at least 6-12 inches under the ground (look into protective fencing).

* Make sure your pets’ shots are up to date.

* Discourage coyotes from sneaking into the neighborhood by throwing rocks or spraying them with a garden hose.

* Never feed coyotes. Keep water, garbage cans and pet foods protected.

* Bring your pets inside before dusk or put them in sturdy cages.

* Be careful in early morning hours, too.

* Be careful of poisons and rat traps.

* Remember cats hunt for fun; coyotes hunt for food which makes them more dangerous.