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More coyote sightings alarm Laguna Woods pet owners

July 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two more coyote sightings were reported in Laguna Woods Wednesday after a rash of coyote attacks has put dog owners on edge.

Three dogs have been attacked in the neighborhood this week. One such attack on Tuesday ended up killing the dog.

Seniors at the Laguna Woods Retirement Village are now keeping their dogs indoors. The recent outbreak of coyote attacks and sightings have people in the community fearing for the safety of their pets.

"I didn't sleep last night, and the only reason why I'm out and about now is that I went to get some medication so that I can sleep," said Karen Sherif, whose dog was killed by a coyote Tuesday.

During her morning walk, Sherif's 12-year-old Yorkshire Terrier named Pooh was killed by a coyote.

"She stopped to smell something as dogs do, and I walked a few more steps, and the next thing I heard was a yelp," described Sherif. She said the coyote had her dog in its jaws, and she never heard another sound from the terrier.

Sherif, who was knocked down and injured during the attack, said she found Pooh's body 15 minutes later on the sidewalk near her house with a broken neck.

Pooh is the second dog this week to be killed by coyotes in the same neighborhood.

Animal control officials said pictures taken by residents prove that coyotes in the area are tracking pets.

"About two weeks ago, I saw one come across the street and it had a cat in its mouth. I chased it, but I lost it," said Laguna Woods resident Jack Ravin.

Ravin said he's not afraid of the wild animals. He's determined to keep his dog Lucy safe during their daily walks in the neighborhood.

"I carry a stun gun with me. It's perfectly legal. It puts out a jolt of 200,000 volts, so if it comes near my dog or near me, I can stun it," Ravin said.

Animal control officials said coyote sightings are common in the area, but this kind of activity is very unusual. In some of the incidents, the owners were dragged by their leashes by the coyotes. In May, a woman was bitten by a coyote.

Authorities said they've set out more coyote traps recently, and they've caught and removed three coyotes from the Laguna Woods area.

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