Coyotes encroaching in Orange County

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. "I no longer walk because I'm afraid to walk," said Huntington Beach resident Wanda Sheeran.

Sheeran bought an air-horn to feel safer doing chores outside her home.

"They say a loud, shrill noise will frighten coyotes away," said Sheeran.

Residents at Sea Aira Mobile Home Estates in Huntington Beach say coyotes have taken over.

The animals are not uncommon in urban areas,but some residents say they've seen as many as seven at a time.

People say they've done everything they can to try to keep the coyotes away, including blocking holes beneath fences, but that doesn't help. The coyoutes just jump right over.

Maintenance worker Steve Zergman looks inside one the coyote dens next to the mobile home park. He's chased them back here many times.

"They're looking for food, people feed them in the park, or they know where dogs or cats are," said Zergman.

In the past month, residents say coyotes have killed three cats and two small dogs, including 5-year-old "Petey," when his owner left him outside briefly to answer the phone.

"He was lying on the ground, he was still warm. The guy killed him, put claws through him ... my daughter and ... we all just ... " said Bob Anderson.

Some residents say it's not just small pets -- they worry about their own safety.

"It growled at me, looked at me and didn't ever leave," said Stan Piela.

"Report it immediately if it is acting abnormally," said Ryan Drabek, Orange County Animal Care Services.

Residents say they would like the coyotes removed. But county officials say their policy does not include relocating.

"We don't trap unless there's reason, if the animal has been proven to be aggressive or injured or ill," said Drabek.

Officials can only urge residents to avoid leaving water or food outside. If a coyote comes close, make noise, and take small pets and children inside. If it's acting aggressive, call authorities right away.

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