Hey, remember that City Hall hearing called by Supervisor Norman Yee over San Francisco's recent fatal attacks of domestic dogs by coyotes? Well, it happened yesterday, and resulted in one of my favorite quotes so far this year.
As you already know, there have been multiple attacks on dogs in Stern Grove, as well as a fatal mauling of a pup who was in his own yard two weeks ago. The guardians of some of those dogs, as well as other concerned citizens, were quite vocal during the public comment section of yesterday's meeting.
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One of those guardians was Peggy Lo, Bay City News reports, "whose dog Buster was killed by a coyote at Stern Grove last year." Which is very very sad and upsetting — as a fellow dog guardian, my heart goes out to Lo. But as a regular person in the world, I couldn't help but chuckle just a bit at her remarks at the hearing:
“We pay high taxes to live here. The coyotes don’t pay taxes, they aren’t voting.”
Arguably, neither was the late Buster! Nor is that fucking pigeon who just took a dump on my car. Neither, in fact, is my cat, who just barfed on the rug! Will someone please hire these animals a top SF tax preparation company so they can all start contributing to society? (My cat is turning 18 this fall, so maaaaybe he will vote, Peggy! Maybe.)
At the hearing, Virginia Donohue, executive director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, told worried residents like Lo that "The hard truth of this situation is that our world has changed. Just as many of us can remember when we didn’t lock our doors at night, gone are the days when small pets can wander off. I wish I could bring those days back but I can’t.”
Instead, the ACC and other city agencies are trying "hazing” methods like "flashing lights and noisemakers intended to scare coyotes away from humans" as well as adding fences, posting warning signs for dog owners, and securing trash cans.
Other hazing methods officials are mulling are "water sprinklers activated by motion sensors, noise shakers, Super Soaker water guns and whistles," the Ex reports, as "using paint balls to use pain to condition the coyotes to stay away from humans and also to identify them."
“These animals are here to stay,” Jonathan Young, the Presidio Trust’s wildlife ecologist told the angry crowd. “Our main goal is to minimize conflict.”
But conflict minimization isn't enough for the citizens living in fear of the next coyote attack.
“I do not want to have to be afraid that my cats are going to be killed just because I don’t put them on a leash. This is crazy,” Ingleside resident Daniel Curzon-Brown, the guardian of the dog killed earlier this month, said.
“It cannot continue as it is right now. We are having members our family mangled and eaten.”
"When I called the Department of Animal Control, I was told nothing can be done until a human being is killed," Curzon-Brown said ominously.
"Well, maybe that's what it's going to take."