It’s a Dog-Eat Dog World |

It’s a Dog-Eat Dog World

Two coyotes made a meal out of an 18-pound terrier in the Tahoe Keys Sunday morning.

“There was nothing left to bury,” said Pat Lacey, the pet’s owner.

Lacey, who lives on Lassen Drive in the Tahoe Keys, was looking out of her bedroom window waiting for her dog Murphy to come running into view. Instead, she saw two coyotes run around the corner carrying her dog to their den just 100 feet away from her property, she said. Her dog was attacked and taken from her next door neighbors’ yard.

“People need to be aware that even if you are in Tahoe Keys or Ski Run that coyotes are all over the place,” said Robert Gerat, senior animal control officer for El Dorado County animal control.

In Tahoe Keys and other South Shore neighborhoods, small pets can find themselves prey to coyotes which often roam the area looking for food, especially during the winter when food is scarce, said Debbie Goodyear, who lives on Venice Drive in Tahoe Keys.

“When there are slim pickings, cats and dogs become desirable,” she said.

Goodyear has been a resident of Tahoe for 23 years and said she knows the patterns of coyotes.

“I would feel for anyone with a small dog,” she said. “Coyotes are smart. They wait, and you don’t see them and they just pounce. It is almost like they are little robbers. They case the situation and wait for days.”

She said coyotes come to her property line on a regular basis. Goodyear has two golden retrievers that bark at the coyotes and scare them away.

“It’s gotten worse than it used to be,” she added.

California Fish and Game makes hunting coyotes very easy and does not put any limits on how many a hunter may kill, but South Lake Tahoe regulations prohibit the discharge of firearms within city limits making it difficult for property owners to protect their pets, said David Bezonne, a warden for the California Department of Fish and Game.

“What the law allows us to do, we have already attempted to do by providing the opportunity for these animals to be hunted,” he said.

But in 1992 Jim Morris, who was a Tahoe Keys resident, shot a coyote that he felt threatened the safety of his dog.

“That demonstrates to me that Jim Morris was absolutely correct in his conclusion that the coyote out there presented an immediate danger to him,” said David w, who provided legal counsel for Morris. “And that coyotes continue to present a danger to residents in the Tahoe Keys and their pets.”

Morris was found guilty of discharging a weapon within city limits, DeVore said.

“We have contacted Fish and Game in the past, and we have had them remove coyotes,” said Sgt. Steve O’Brien of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. “But coyotes have been a continual problem in the basin for years, and we deal with it on a case by case basis. “

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