"We're all in danger. We've got a lot of frail, older seniors that walk a dog. If a coyote went after them, they would not have a chance," said Tiny Cook, a Carson resident.
Animal rights activists are demanding that the city stop trapping and killing coyotes. City officials on Wednesday voted to suspend all trapping of coyotes. Trappers had removed four coyotes this year. State law requires coyotes that are trapped to be euthanized instead of being relocated.
Officials decided to bring in animal rights groups to find a more humane way to deal with the problem.
"With coyote education and a co-existence strategy that we can work together with the city of Carson, and hopefully at that point, trapping will not be an issue," said Randi Feilich of Project Coyote.
Carson Mayor Jim Dear said if the new plan does not work, they will consider going back to trapping.
"It is still a distinct possibility if this plan doesn't work, but I have to add, I believe this plan will work," Dear said.
Officials said this spring, an explosion in the coyote population in the city's marshlands has created a crisis. They said hungry coyotes have attacked and killed nearly two dozen dogs and cats. Residents are walking their pets, armed with bats, sticks, pepper spray and blow horns.
Carson resident Paul Randall said he has been chased by coyotes several times. He is willing to try the more humane way to deal with this crisis.
"We are willing to work with anybody and we're headed in that direction in doing what is best for the coyotes and what's best for the residents," said Randall.
Randall said educating the public, in part, calls for residents not to leave pet food or pets out unattended. He said taking the coyotes' food source away will hopefully make them stay away.
If the more humane education campaign fails, city officials plan to revisit the issue next month to decide whether or not to go back to trapping and killing coyotes.