Coyote kills family pets in South Bay

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A South Bay community is keeping a close eye on their pets after coyotes killed a dog and cat earlier this week.

Chula Vista resident Gabby Martinez has stopped walking her dogs through a canyon near her home after coyotes got into neighbors` yards.

“I don`t want to bump into coyotes, not if I`m walking my dog, no,” Martinez said. “My husband says no more walking in the canyons. I love walking the trails. But now that I know they may be out here, no. I`ll walk the sidewalks."

Many who walk their dogs through the canyon are well aware of coyotes.

“If you walk down there, you can see the pockets where they live. We`ve seen them in person as well," resident Tricia McGinty said.

Martinez says although coyotes have been spotted at all hours, she hopes pet owners will be extra careful at night.

“Bring your pets in. They`re not just animals, they`re your family. You don`t want your family mauled,” she said.

While coyote attacks on people are rare, pets are not so lucky. Those that are small or elderly are especially at risk. By taking the actions listed below, their owners will greatly improve their odds:

  • Never leave pets outside and unattended, even during daylight hours.
  • Avoid feeding pets outside if at all possible. Or feed them during the day and remove all bowls when finished.
  • Remove all food attractants from the yard, including fallen fruit.
  • Clean areas around bird feeders and store feed indoors.
  • Keep lids on garbage cans and cover compost piles.
  • House backyard chickens in secure and protected coops.