Echo Park pet owner mourns the loss of a “best friend” in coyote attack

Eddie Hernandez and Loki. Photo courtesy Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez and Loki. Photo courtesy Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez was initially reluctant to adopt Loki, a young Chihuahua that Hernandez’ sister-in-law rescued from the streets of Rialto last summer. “I was hesitant to adopt him at first because I had to put down my previous Chihuahua of 13 years due to illness,” said Hernandez of Echo Park. But Hernandez eventually brought Loki into his home and life.  The dog soon became  “my best friend and loyal companion,” Hernandez said. On Saturday night, after a nap, Hernandez took Loki outside and within moments of stepping off a deck and into the yard, the small dog was gone, snatched away by a coyote.

“I guess I must have scared the coyote because he deposited Loki’s body in the hillside, intact,” Hernandez said via email. “Loki was unfortunately dead when I found him.”

Hernandez said he wants to warn neighbors about the threat coyotes pose to small dogs and family pets. They are hunters and can run extremely fast, jump up to 14 feet high and dig deep underground, making most walls and fences ineffective, he said. “I have notified my neighbors and want to remind your readers that all it takes is a few seconds to lose your loved one.”


  1. Constantine Singer

    I’m sorry to hear about this. We had a similar incident a few weeks ago when a coyote attacked and killed one of our cats. Somehow, the coyote found its way into our secured back yard and killed our pet on our back patio, leaving an enormous bloody mess. We’re on McDuff St, a few blocks from the park, but over the last few months we have seen coyotes multiple times on our streets. It’s a bit strange because before now, we hadn’t seen them in over a decade.

  2. Hey Eddie. So sorry to hear this. It saddens me knowing that were the protectors of our friends and sometimes we cant prevent something like this from happening. Im the owner of two dogs and im always fearful that something might happen to them when im not looking.
    Im a picture framer and i used to always make small shadow boxes for people who lost a pet. It would include a picture of the pet and maybe a favorite small toy or collar. Id be happy to make one for you, just call me and i’ll hook you up.

  3. How sad and awful. You are not alone, small pets are at risk and even when you try to keep them safe, sometimes you can’t.

  4. This is so sad 🙁 I always get anxious when I’m walking my little chihuahua at night and we hear those plaintive howls in the hills. So sorry for your loss, Eddie.

  5. Sorry for your loss.
    These attacks are becoming more frequent.

  6. I can only say what a hero Mr. Hernandez is for coming to the rescue of Loki, and I hope in the aftermath of his heartbreaking loss he doesn’t second-guess his decision to do so for even one moment.

  7. Sorry for your loss Eddie. Know you gave Loki a great life and filled his heart with love everyday. You are a hero!

  8. I’m so sorry 🙁

  9. This is horrible news. So sorry to hear of your loss. I was very close to losing my dog back in October when I let her out to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I just thank God she was faster than the coyote and was able to get away. I know us humans sadly took over their land but something needs to be done to control these horrible incidents.

  10. Our pets depend on us for their quality of life and give us so much in return. I can understand losing such a small friend, but this is made more tragic due to the cause. Losing a pet to illness or old age is sad enough an experience. My condolences to Eddie.

    I used to worry about loose dogs more than coyotes, being away from the hills but I saw a coyote on a deserted Main St. near Huntingon Dr. in Alhambra late one night a few weeks ago while driving. They are predators by nature, unfortunately for our small pets, and maybe development in areas where their natual prey lives has made them more daring. And now thieves will even take a dog left alone in the yard, the smaller one more a target than bigger ones.

  11. I live at top of hill in EP and hv lost four great cats to coyotes. Hate them.

    • I’m sorry but after the first loss why did you continue to let your cats outside?

      • HB
        Heartless Bastard

        • Sorry to say but agree with paperchase. Hey HB, let’s keep all our dogs and cats and other domesticated animals we live with and love indoors, deny them freedom, exercise and fresh air and gee whiz, killer coyote problem is solved. Right.

          • So sorry for Eddie and Darrell. I try to remind myself that cats are predators too and that nature just is.
            As to letting cats outside I’m with Darrell -we have a cat fence so our cats can’t leave our yard but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a coyote can’t get in -still better that they have full lives.

          • Not Another Neighbor

            Its a dog eat dog world. There is no killer coyote ‘problem’. The coyote’s are just enjoying their freedom, exercise and fresh air too. And eating.

  12. As an animal lover and pet owner myself I want to send my condolences. I can’t imagine what it must be like to witness what happened with your own eyes.

    However, this isn’t and never will be an “attack”. If someone is training the coyote to go after specific animals, then yes, it’s an attack. But thats not happening. The coyote doesn’t know that the dog is your family pet. The cat doesn’t know a bird is a beautiful creature. It’s all just food to them. A human going out to trap or kill a coyote, that’s an attack.

    I have friends who live on the edge of Elysian and methodically check the yard before walking their dogs when dusk is approaching. It’s not that hard. They know its annoying but they respect the park, it’s residents and the dangers it may propose. But most importantly they do it for the dogs.

    • Really ?
      Did you have to go there with your veiled lecture?
      We all take care when we drive, but accidents happen right ?
      We take extra care when we cook , but still burn ourselves.
      We all wear the right sweaters , coats etc, but can still freeze our asses off .
      C’mon , such is life , anything can happen in a split second , even with ALL precautions in place . Shit still happens .
      If you have THAT much control over what happens , I would like to know the winning lotto numbers for tonight.

        • Haha. Blame the victim…

          Take your sanctimonious BS elsewhere, friend-o.

        • HB, I agree with you as does every reputable animal welfare organization. Cats especially need to be kept indoors, and it is obviously responsible behavior to check the yard, or turn on the lights, etc., before walking a dog at night in a coyote-prone area. This will not eliminate coyotes killing dogs and cats, but it seems such a small and obvious thing to do that I am amazed that people are going to jump down your throat for suggesting it. I would say that by the time a fourth cat is killed by coyotes, the human in question should not be parenting cats, period. This is not “blaming the victim” it is simply speaking truth to ignorance, no matter how unwanted the lecture may be.

    • Well said, HB! -I find your clarification very comforting.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss of Loki. My deepest sympathies.

  14. Eddie, very sad to hear of this loss of your beloved companion. hopefully one day you can find comfort in the good memories and how you gave loki so much love that otherwise he may have never experienced, and i’m sure he to you.

    a few years back in angelino heights we had a pack that had burrowed down in the backyard of an empty house on carroll. we all alerted each other and then someone went around putting up signs everywhere warning there were coyotes in the neighborhood.

    i’m not sure how, but eventually i think it was wildlife people that came and relocated them, however this could be because they were habitating on property. give them a phone call anyway so they are aware of these locations.

    and thank you Eddie (and eastsiderla) for sharing this so others may be able to try to be extra vigilant, even if it means keeping your pet on a leash in your own back yard and cats inside.

  15. Sorry to hear of your loss. I avoid taking my dog on walks at dusk, because of coyotes. I am mindful that we are in their territory (they were on this land first) and take steps so that we don’t meet up with one. A friend built a covered dog run for her yorkies, because not only are they game for coyotes, but large birds. Cats can be kept indoors. It’s the reality of living in paradise.

  16. Eddie so sorry to hear but the same thing happened to our dog (who was much bigger at 25 lbs) in December a few days before Christmas. Same thing, secured yard etc. A coyote has gotten three pets on just our small street! It is like living with freakin Jaws!!! Against my better judgement we got another (larger) dog and it has helped us get over the pain. We wish you well. The Schnepps.


    HB, I feel certain you meant well but do you really think we need a lesson in semantics when offering condolences to Eddie over the loss of his little dog? And as for the coyote only looking for lunch and not knowing he is killing your pet, again not a real big help for someone grieving over a beloved friend and pet.

    Let us just give Eddie our condolences and save our lectures for another day. (Yeah, and that means ME, TOO!!)

    • I disagree -and what are you doing but lecturing? -Eddie is a big boy and can take or leave the information. I appreciate being reminded of the true nature of nature.

  18. Eddie, I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your pet. Sending good thoughts your way.

  19. Sorry for your loss Eddie, it’s terrible that our dogs aren’t even safe behind a fence.
    The same thing exact thing just happened to my neighbor a few weeks ago. Several cats and dogs have been attacked and killed on my street this year; even in fenced in yards and sometimes even during the day!
    The coyote population of Elysian Park needs to be monitored and controlled. Sorry PETA, but too many wild animals in an urban setting isn’t healthy for us or the animals. They control the deer population on the East Coast, why not the Coyotes in Los Angeles?

  20. I am sorry to hear of the loss of the pet. And I commend Mr Hernandez for not vilifying the Coyote in this incident.

    Many people here keep saying something needs to be done…you are right, what needs done is pet owners need to learn how to protect their pets in a responsible manner. Don’t keep outdoor cats, look after your dogs when you let them outside. If you have concern about letting your dog into the yard, you should go out first and check for safety. Few Coyotes will stick around when a human presence is made.

    The problem is pet owners not our natural fauna.

    • The problem is people who think this fauna is natural.
      LA is not a natural place which is why there are TOO MANY coyotes.

      All the idiots saying “they were here before us” should hand over their houses
      to the indian tribes that ” were here before us”.

  21. one more thing, I live at Sunset Junction on the south side of Sunset and Coyotes roam my street every single night. Don’t pretend this issue is only for those in the hills or close to the park

    My block is blessed with a large assortment of animals.Coyotes, raccoons, opossum, squirrels, Skunk and even deer are regulars here on Sanborn Ave south of Sunset Blvd. I treasure the local wildlife just as many residents treasure their pets. We and our pets are the invasive species, it is our duty to adapt.

  22. been seeing them more and more lately. sounds like everyone has. i saw one yesterday at around 5:00 pm at echo park ave and curran. looking pretty small and scared to be honest, but still a bit of a shock to see out and about in full daylight.

  23. A pack has emerged in our neighborhood over the past year. They will occassionally wake us up in the middle of the night with a shrill cacophony of yipping and howling. I’m a dog owner and animal lover but I’m also a firm believer that the best thing for coyotes is to be absolutely terrified of humans. Accordingly, a pack of neighborhood kids should be armed with wrist-rockets and pellet guns and encouraged to roam the hills to apply some non-lethal hazing on these desperadoes. It’s what kept these very same hills and neighborhoods coyote-free in the past: Utter and absolute terror of humans. Especially the shorter ones. Unfortunately, in these gentrified and politically-correct days, good luck finding a pack of neighborhood kids or parents who would trust them with a sling-shot much less a pellet gun (heavy sigh).

  24. Where did this happen exactly?

  25. My little Angel Tiger was killed by a coyote. Chihuahua mini pini mix. Just big dogs for me from now on

    • I have a chihuahua/min pin mix, too! This is really scary, I’m going to be extra careful with my little guy when we’re walking.

      • My min-pin chihuahua was mauled by a coyote horribly in 2011, just North of Broadway in Lincoln Heights. He survived, but I will never forget the horror of handling his limp, bloody little body and waiting at the vet for days to see if he would pull through. I will also never forgive myself for letting him be off-leash in a hilly area even if it was our yard–I wish I had known this kind of thing happens, I’m glad for the attempt to spread the word.

  26. I wish ppl would show the same regard for humans as the show for an animal.

  27. RIP Loki. SO sorry this happened to you and thank you to Mike for such a kind offer. How very beautiful your offer is to make a piece of art in Loki’s memory.

  28. Get a rifle, and kill the coyotes. The city refuses to do anything about it. If they are that concerned about a pack of coyotes, then they should trap em and take em somewhere into national forest. I for one, will kill every last coyote I see around my house. Many of my neighbors have lost dogs, and cats.

    • Amen, Liberals have decided that coyotes have a right to exist in an urban environment. No they do not. They belong in a wild setting like Angeles forest

      What will they outcry be when coyotes finally kill an infant child?

      A million dollar settlement from the city, thats what.

  29. The city did used to trap coyotes (not easy, btw, because they are very wily and smart) but with so many outcries from ‘humaniacs’, trapping was made illegal and was discontinued.

  30. My condolences to the pet owner. I can’t imagine the heartbreak.

  31. Coyotes are overgrown long legged RATS.

  32. I want to thank everyone for your kind words of support. Hearing similar stories of loss reminds me that I am not alone in this. My hope is that Loki’s death will remind others about the dangers of wildlife in our neighborhood relative to our pets, and a loss will be spared.

    • Dear Eddie I’m sorry about ur precious puppy … Same thing happened to my small chi . He was trained to go outside and pee and he was snatched in my backyard in two min. before I could get to him , it really is a horrible helpless feeling , I wish I knew … That this could happen as well … Polo was my best friend and my littlie boy <

  33. I meant to say that a loss will be prevented, not spared.

  34. Dear Eddie,
    I grew up in EchoPark and Silverlake and NEVER saw a cayote but that was in the 60s-70s. A few years back were swapped houses with friends in the canyons and was really taken with all the wonderful wild life until one evening I watched a coyote at the top of the street, take aim at my little daughter. She was not hurt just amazed at how fast mommy moved.
    My heart breaks for you and your loss. In the old days it was rattlesnakes we had to fear. From far away Australia, we send you love.

  35. I don’t believe arming kids with slingshots/pellet guns is the answer nor do I agree that that is what would keep coyotes away. Killing them is certainly NOT the solution! WTH?!?! It isn’t until new housing infringed on their territory that they have become more visible and forced to do their hunting in residential areas. As a mother and pet owner, I know that there has to be a viable solution that would keep our children, pets and the coyotes safe from harm. Eddie, I am so sorry for your loss. Our pets become part of our families and their passing is painful, especially in the manner that Loki was taken from you.

    • Sorry but non-lethal hazing is preCisely how coyotes defend their turf and pups. The sooner humans learn to communicate in their language the sooner coyotes will understand that they are not welcome on human turf. It’s elementary and nothing to become shrill or hysterical about. After all, Dr. Dolittle is science fiction and even the “Dog Whisperer” mimics a biting snout with his hand to convey displeasure to his pets. Accordingly, non-lethal hazing falls under the “No harm, no foul” category and is the most effective way for coyotes to become absolutely terrified (not curious or intrigued) by humans and everything associated with humans including our pets.

  36. Eddie, so sorry to hear of Loki. 🙁

  37. Man, there’s people dying and theres an article about a damn dog dying? Absolutely ridiculous.

  38. One chihuahua owner to another, I’m very sorry to hear about this 🙁

    I don’t live too close to hills (K-town), but I often take my Lucy up to Griffith. She’s a chihuahua/terrier mix and is larger than a pure chihuahua (around 12 lbs). Is she small enough that a coyote would still try to snatch her? Not planning on letting her run off lease anytime soon, but I always wonder about this.

    • My rule of thumb when it comes to Griffith Park is that every visitor should simply assume that there is a coyote(s) no more than 50 yards away at all times, which is true. Nonetheless, coyotes are the ultimate opportunists. During my 35+ years of hiking those trails with my dogs off-leash, I’ve never encountered more than compulsory interest from coyotes and nothing that a “woof” and stone won’t immediately send them racing for cover. In any case, whether leashed or not, keeping your small dogs close is the key to keeping them safe. Otherwise, I’ve actually come across coyotes being mauled by bigger breeds who’ve bolted from their owners to chase down coyotes who carelessly wandered too close.

  39. Yes, she definitely is small enough. I’m a long time dog trainer in LA, and I’ve (sadly) known many people whose dogs have been victims of coyotes. Do NOT let your small dog off leash in any coyote area. That includes much of the EastsideLA area! Coyotes can also easily scale tall fences, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security if you think dogs are safe in your yard. This goes double for cats. Although there is a cat in my Silver Lake neighborhood who has survived outdoors for many years, most don’t and should be kept safely indoors.

  40. Coyotes are going to go the way of the wolf.

  41. Please remember that coyotes are attracted into neighborhoods when pet food is left out or trash cans not properly secured. I’ve been dealing with a woman who leaves plates of food out for feral cats and I can’t get her to understand that she is the reason for increased coyote sightings and interactions in our area.

  42. Unless she traps and alters the cats, she’s also responsible for the burgeoning feral cat population. They are soooo prolific!

  43. I have the opposite problem — a large dog that will pull the leash out of my hand (if I’m not paying attention) to chase any coyote he spots in the park — a regular occurrence in Elysian and Griffith parks. I’m not saying having a large dog is the solution to coyote predation and it does have its own challenges (big poops, for one), but he definitely keeps the coyotes away from my yard — and therefore away from the smaller pets that inhabit it as well. Before the era of the big dog, coyotes visited my yard quite frequently, gates and fences be damned!

  44. I see coyote coming down my neighbors stairs usually with a cat in their mouth. I was standing by my locked gate i didnt want to move. It kept walking came about 5 feet waY frm.me before it saw me we both just started at each other. So help me it looked like the coyote easy saying Y Que ? What yo gonna do. An walked off down the street very slowly. If you have these problems know. What will wArmer weather bring?.

  45. Bighugs 4 Eddie.
    Hi y’all. I’m in south pas and just wanted to toss out my experience w the coyotes. There is a consistent presence of a pair of then every am ~ 430-530 in my driveway. They saunter around axually. South p/san marino border… used to live by orange Grove exit 110 and there were usually 3 of them wandering the streets. The Pasadena Humane Society employee I spoke w on 1 occasion mentioned they had seen 1 wandering around 15:00 on raymond & green. I have cats-indoor outdoor. I make sure they’re in by dusk and check their whereabouts more than they’d like. My point-they’re everywhere, fearless, take extra care.

  46. I’m sorry to hear that, I live in an area with coyotes and I have a fearless mini pincer that thinks he can out bark there noises. I almost lost him last week, but thanks to my oddly enough Akita/Shepard named Loki who scared them away. I also warned my neighbors. Those coyotes are not joke.

  47. I lost my beloved chihuahua Sugar Rey on Nov. 14th, 2017. Not a day goes by that I dont wail and scream and get extremely mad and cry and cry and cry. He was attacked in his own back yard. We found his blood but no body. I hate coyotes and will run one over with my car if i ever get lucky enough. It feels like my life and world has changed and I have lost my interests.

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