Letter to the Editor: Coyote attack

Dear Editor:

I moved to Downey about a month ago from South Gate. We moved near the mall, north Downey to be safer. But that was a mistake.

Saturday, Aug. 13, at 9 a.m., I woke up to find my poodle, Lola, in my backyard -- heart, stomach, and half her rib cage gone. Her, gone. I screamed and called family to help me and put my husky inside the house. Sadly, it hit me harder to realize I'd probably walked past her dead body earlier that morning. 

At 5 in the morning I rushed to the door to find a cop there to let me know a neighbor called to report hearing a dog crying badly. I rushed into my dark backyard and the cop helped me find my husky pup quivering, crying in the side passageway next to my garage. I assumed it was him who they called about.

Still half asleep, I carried him on into the house as I called out for Lola to come in too. But nothing, and I couldn't see anything; none of the lights were bright enough to shed light towards our lemon tree by where she lay dead. I foolishly settled for the thought that she may be asleep on the other side of the yard. 

Now I look back and feel stupid. Lola would never deny the opportunity to come inside. She loved being with my dad in his comfy chair. I'd had her since middle school; she was barely going to turn 8. 

I noticed my husky pup was taking long to fall asleep; he usually knocks out like a light. Eventually he did fall asleep as did I. But at 9 in the morning my husky woke me to take him out to take care of necessities, and when I opened the curtains to the slide door towards the backyard, I saw Lola laying there motionless. And I saw half of her is white and the other half, with a gaping hole, is blood red. 

I called SEAACA immediately to ask them to remove the body because I couldn't sum up the courage to do so. Hours passed and they never came so my boyfriend came to do me the favor. SEAACA said it was a coyote attack and when my father checked our cameras, we realized they were right.

Just twenty minutes before I went out to check what the cop was referring to, the coyote had jumped in by the gate at my window, and attacked her while she slept outside my parents' bedroom. After my husky heard that, I assume he bolted into the darkest corner he could find and waited to be saved. After the coyote finished feasting on my poodle, he ran in the direction of the husky but disappeared from the camera's view. 

I never thought I would lose her like that. I didn't even know Downey had coyotes. I thought this city was safe and now I come to find out neighbors have seen packs of them directly down my street? It infuriates me that nothing has been done to attempt to limit their access in our direction.

The danger of time they feast begins as soon as dawn and ends around sunrise. That's about an entire 12 hours of either another beloved pet being attacked, or even a child. I can't even feel comfortable letting my niece play in the backyard or stepping out of my car to walk to my door.

Something needs to be done. Knowing the danger now, finding my little angel that way, I'm traumatized from the experience alone and I haven't slept a single night without the same nightmare since that night. We need to take precautions. It hurts to feel sorry than safe.

Julie Tapia