Arcadia Approves Controversial Coyote Trapping Plan, Again

– Courtesy photo


$20,000 allocated for education and snare trapping

By Terry Miller

Despite city of the Arcadia staff recommendation to continue education regarding the coyotes, council listened to the continued community outcry over the “intense population” increase of local coyotes and voted to use snare traps, which City Manager Dominic Lazaretto admitted was not exactly the most humane way to deal with the issue.

Peter Amundson agreed with the city manager and said he’d prefer trapping over the use of snare traps.

On Feb. 9, PETA sent an urgent letter on behalf of its hundreds of members and supporters in Arcadia to the city’s mayor and city council asking them to call off plans to trap and kill coyotes living in the area.

The council’s decision was made at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning, “even though the posted meeting agenda item gave no indication that a vote on lethal measures might take place,” according to PETA.

In its letter, PETA points out that coyotes suffer when caught in cage traps or painful snares, that companion animals and untargeted wildlife could be harmed by the traps, and that more coyotes will simply move in to take the place of animals who have been killed, as long as the neighborhood and its food supply remain attractive to them—resulting in a costly and pointless killing cycle.

“Killing coyotes isn’t just inhumane and indefensible—it’s also ineffective,” said PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “The only proven long-term solution is educating the public about deterring coyotes through habitat modification and repellents as well as strictly prohibiting feeding wildlife.”

PETA’s letter to Arcadia Mayor Tom Beck and the Arcadia City Council is as follows:

“PETA’s headquarters has been informed that the Arcadia City Council has voted to hire a contractor to trap and kill coyotes. On behalf of our hundreds of members and supporters in Arcadia, we urge you to halt any plans to kill coyotes immediately. Ultimately, trapping and killing initiatives are ineffective at controlling coyote populations, as surviving pack members simply breed in order to replace lost family members while more coyotes move in from outlying areas for the available resources. Furthermore, trapping of any kind (including cage trapping) is extraordinarily stressful for any wild species, and snare traps are particularly inhumane, since ensnared animals often sustain horrific injuries in their frantic attempts to escape, even chewing or twisting off their own limbs. Killing or otherwise removing animals also tears wild families apart, leaving orphaned young to starve. And such devices are notoriously indiscriminate, posing definite risks to companion animals and “nontarget” wildlife, including protected species.

“Making areas unappealing via deterrents and curtailing food sources will encourage coyotes to move on naturally. Ammonia-soaked rags placed in dens will successfully “evict” coyotes, as they loathe the smell. Residents should be advised that trimming vegetation away from buildings, trails, and fence lines will eliminate or at least reduce the number of hiding places for coyotes as well as their prey. Sonic deterrents such as YardGard™, motion-activated sprinklers, flashing lights, and outdoor radios (all available at garden stores) also work effectively to deter coyotes and their prey. The Bird-X Transonic Mole will further deter burrowing animals who are a food source for coyotes, and the presence of rodents can be mitigated by keeping dumpsters locked, trash and compost securely contained, and grass cut shorter as well as by feeding animal companions indoors. Finally, a prohibition on feeding wildlife should be strictly enforced.

This integrative approach is the only effective means of coyote control, and its nonlethal nature makes it acceptable to the public. We hope to hear soon that Arcadia will abandon this killing initiative.”


Kristin Rickman, Cruelty Casework Associate Manager,  Cruelty Investigations Department

February 9, 2017

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4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Arcadia Approves Controversial Coyote Trapping Plan, Again”

  1. AJ says:

    I do not believe that PETA’s comment “that companion animals and untargeted wildlife could be harmed by the traps, and that more coyotes will simply move in to take the place of animals who have been killed,”

    I assume that by now residents are better educated about dangerous animals on the streets. If PETA is so concerned about animal life versus Human life, than the city should give them permission to gather all of their members and capture the coyotes on their dime.

    • Dan De Vries says:

      I am not an Arcadia resident but I believe I have something to add to the discussion about coyotes there.

      At the outset, I want to reply to AJ’s objection to the assertion that “more coyotes will simply move in to take the place of animals who have been killed.” If there is one indisputable fact about coyotes, it is that they have survived and prospered over so many centuries in North America precisely because their breeding patterns evolved to the point that the more that perish, the more the rest of them breed. There’s an old saying from the cowboy west (I went to graduate school in Wyoming) that if you kill one coyote, two more will show up for the funeral.

      I live in a part of San Francisco where coyotes frequently visit our neighborhood. Last autumn, I spent several weekend afternoons walking my neighborhood knocking on doors, talking to neighbors, and if no one came to the door, leaving door hangers co-produced by Project Coyote and San Francisco Animal Care and Control.

      I visited at least 800 households and talked to householders in about 200 of them. When I started canvasing I really had no idea how I would be received. When I did talk to neighbors, I was astonished by the response I received. Only three of them expressed hostility to the notion of coexisting with urban coyotes. A few more than that were a little fearful, but eager to learn more about coexistence.

      By far the vast majority actually like having coyotes as urban neighbors. That majority divides pretty much evenly between neighbors who understand the environmental contributions coyotes can provide in an urban setting and neighbors who unapologetically think it’s “cool” (for lack of a better word) to have Sr/Sra Coyote come visit from time to time.

      I hope that at least some citizens of Arcadia have similar points of view. I hope those who do will show up for the February 21 council meeting to express those views.

    • Donna says:

      Well this is clearly a response based on ignorance. The factual information given by PETA is a direct result of experience, experience dealing with similar situations in the past and present. Let me use an analogy that maybe more people can identify with. Trapping/killing/ mutilating these animals is like an overweight person getting liposuction and a tummy tuck. Thousands of dollars are spent on trying to rectify the symptom instead of correcting the source, and soon you’ll have to do it again. Oh and there is no guarantee that the fat will be gone enough to please the person anyway…most people are hard to please!

  2. Jean says:

    Ignorance and fear always go hand in hand. Coyotes all have families and are part of our ecosystem. People misrepresentation what they see in behavior of coyotesbecause it is easier than really learning about them. People should take better care of their own anmials. You may get a false sense of security hearing the cries of dying coyotes. But they will prevail because they are natural here.And yes I have lost a dear pet cat due to my own laziness and ignorance.

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