The missing cats of Echo Park

Photos by Deeana Duran

When Deanna Duran moved to Echo Park seven years ago, a kitten named Flash was part of her new home.  Recently, however, Flash went missing and Deana and her boyfriend launched a search, posting flyers on telephone poles and notices on the web.   That search ended last week with the gruesome discovery that a neighborhood had found Flash’s leg in the middle of the street. Duran and her neighbors near Avalon Street and Preston Avenue assume Flash fell prey to a coyote.  After noticing numerous other missing cat and dog flyers nearby, Duran wants to warn her neighbors to take extra care of their small pets:

I‘ve lived in this neighborhood about 7 years and have never seen so many “missing posters” around.  After talking to some people around here people have seen up to 5 coyotes roaming around at night looking for prey- our cats!  I myself have seen 3 right in front of my house.  We talked to the wild life ranger at Lacy street animal shelter and he did confirm indeed there is a problem with coyotes on our area and has instructed us what to do.

I am sure that these little animals are being victimized by the coyotes, like our cat Flash.  We are really sad that he is gone and want to raise an awareness to the neighborhood that they need to keep their cats and little dogs safe.  Also if they do see coyotes they should do something to scare them away.  Clack pots and pans together or make a loud noise to scare them, and most importantly they should report the sighting of them.  I just found out that there may be a pack of 5 living right up our street on Preston and Ewing.  We are going to call Lacey street tomorrow to see if they can send someone over to scope it out.

Something similar happened to the folks that live over on Baxter on the other side of Glendale Blvd. near the reservoir and the neighbors all got together and did what they could to scare them away and it worked.

Click here for advice from the L.A. Department of Animal Services on how to protect your pets from coyotes.

No comments

  1. Yeah, there are definitely coyotes roaming the streets. I’ve seen them on Echo Park Avenue, Lucretia, Grafton, and by Elysian Park. They’re all over the neighborhood, yet so many people just let their pets roam free.

  2. A single coyote was spotted on Oak Glen Pl. near the stairs two weeks ago around 11PM but we have seen them around dusk as well. Also pet owners should also bring in any pet food from the outside as well.

  3. i spotted a pack of three coyotes on my street a couple of months ago, then saw one in my backyard a few weeks back – and i’m *south* of sunset. so they’re definitely roaming the entire area.

    keep your pets indoors!

  4. If wild birds had owners as cats do, think of how many “missing bird” posters we’d see around town due to cats. I once read that the average cat is responsible for roughly 1000 bird deaths over its lifetime. I love cats, but, as they say, live by the sword, die by the sword.

  5. People in Atwater Village should be careful as well. I have seen them at the entrances to the river and on some of the side streets like Valleybrink. I suggest you bring your little ones in at night and when you are not home. Also, when you are home, leave the door open just enough for them to get in if they are being chased. I lost a lovely cat several years ago at a time when a bunch of neighbors did as well. We assumed it was coyotes. Ever since then, I have employed the above technique and have not had a problem. It also is a little more neighborly because it keeps the cat noise down during sleeping hours.

  6. I took a picture of a coyote standing on the front lawn of the apartment building at the corner of Occidental and Marathon once.

  7. I found two coyotes in my yard. My landlord leaves food out to feed the neighborhood strays. The strays had kittens, the coyotes ate the kittens. My landlord blamed me! I called the aspca and they basically said your on your own with coyotes and to not leave food out. They also said they would come out and fine my landlord. I wish they could do more to him, but that’s another post. I live a block up from sunset on elsinore and alvarado. Apparently, police and firetruck sirens, ghetto birds, and sunset traffic doesnt disturb the coyotes. BTW, none of the strays matched any of the missing cats. Here’s an idea….keep your cats inside like I do mine! They will live much much longer. Peace

  8. I’ve seen a sword wielding cat fighting back a coyote twice now. True story.

  9. James, if cat owners kept their cats strictly indoors and funds hadn’t been lost for Trap-Neuter-Release programs a while back, the birds would be a whole lot safer. But some ignorant people somehow related fixing feral cats with more bird danger (http://www.petconnection.com/blog/2010/02/18/feral-cat-advocates-fighting-back-in-los-angeles-court/). Feral cats aside, if you love your cat, keep it indoors.

  10. Same goes for small dogs: if you love them, keep them inside. We regularly hear coyotes take down an animal once a week over near the Loma Vista staircase on the Echo side, only to find a new “Missing XXXX” poster in the neighborhood a couple days later.

  11. Yes, I just spotted a nice healthy coyote boy on Clinton and Belmont Ave. just a few days ago around 6am. I was just amazed at how far these Coyotes are roaming. Probably coming from Elysian Park. I’m amazed to actually see the tough cats still roaming around. Total bad asses are those cats.

  12. Our cat also passed because of a coyote 2 weeks ago. We are sorry for your loss.

  13. We live in the middle of Elysian Park in Solano Canyon, so my back fence is kissing the park. There are a grip of kitties in our neighborhood, i agree with Zmoney, they are total badasses LOL

    Our three cats would roam indoor and outdoor. We try and wrangle the kitties before dusk because of t he coyotes. As much as we love our neighborhood coyotes, we wouldn’t want to give them a free lunch of Cory a la mode!

  14. @Andrea once they trap the cats, the last thing they should be doing is releasing them.

  15. If you care about your cats and small dogs, DON’T leave them outside.

  16. They are always roaming around my neighborhood on Echo Park and Lucretia Ave, it’s quite weird to see them walking around like a normal dog.

  17. So I am wondering if a “solution” to this problem might be to take some small animals and submit them as offerings to the coyotes. Ideally that would keep them from having to come into our neighborhoods to attack our pets and children.

  18. @Skr, so what do you recommend be done with the cats after they are trapped and neutered if you think the last thing should be release them? They are feral/not socialized so they can’t be homed. There are very few shelters for feral cats. What’s left, euthanizing? They have proved in numerous places that if there is a huge effort placed on TNR programs, it reduces the feral cat population significantly. Add that to all pet owners neutering their cats, there are not going to be so many unwanted cats. If cats can’t have kittens the population has no way to increase.

  19. *have proven*

  20. It’s wonderful that we all share a passion for animals and of course our pets! Its great to read all of the suggestions everyone has on how to deter coyotes and keep our pets safe. I just saw a coyote this morning at 7AM right outside. I hopped out of my car, yelled, clapped my hands and shooed it away. Speaking of the badass cats…there were two just sitting on the yard next door just watching me! Badasses indeed!

    It was obvious to watch out for coyotes at night but now, during the day is also proving to be an issue. It’s a bummer since our cats are happiest being free to go in and out during the day, at their leisure. They stay pretty close to home and then at night we keep them in. That has quickly changed.

    Its important to realize that the well being of our pets and how we take care of them all differ in many ways. Of course it is easy and simple to say that if you care about your animals then keep them indoors, but is it really that “black and white”? NOTHING ever really is. What if I were to say that Flash was inside and he cleverly found his way out and met his fate? Would that still make us unfit pet owners that don’t care about his life? I say instead of making a blanket statement of “if you care for your animals keep them indoors” its also safe to say “if you don’t know the details, don’t say anything that judges the way a person cares for their pets”. I think as pet owners we can all say that it there are also some conditions when pets are left indoors at all times, that can also be very unfit.

    I also understand the cycle of life. As much of a loss as it is for our family to lose Flash, (who was very much cared for and loved for 7 long years!!) it is easily understood how it could happen. It, of course doesn’t make it ok or make it any easier to handle; however, I get that the idea that “the cats eat the birds and coyotes eat the cats, etc.”…but its really hard when they are a part of your family and affect us in many positive ways.

    It made me want to raise the awareness to others around in case you weren’t aware of the amount of animals “gone missing”. I don’t judge people who care for their animals the way they see fit to care for them. If your cat loves running around the yard chasing flies and butterflies, awesome! If your dog likes to lay around the house all day and sleep on the couch…who wouldn’t? J It’s also not a “shame on you for letting your cats out”, but rather, watch out for hungry coyotes! I am not insinuating that we punish or harm the coyotes for doing what they do. It’s unfortunate for us that have suffered the loss of the result of them doing what they do, they truly are just surviving themselves. There are plenty of other things that they can feed on to stay alive, just not our pets.

    My heart goes out to those that have lost their pets to this situation or just in general. We naturally want to protect the ones we love, so please however it suits you, keep your pets safe and if you see those coyotes, shoo them away!!
    Thank you for reading. Deanna

  21. Deanna, I totally hear what you are saying and at least on my part, there’s no judging here. Whether your cat was an indoor/outdoor or whether it escaped, the end result just made me so sad. I know there are tons of people that feel like they are depriving their cats by keeping them indoors only. My statement about keeping them indoors is directed to them. We live in coyote territory and the coyotes aren’t getting any less bold or any less hungry. Between coyotes and cars, cat life expectancy is significantly less for the cat let outdoors. I’d rather deprive my cats a bit of outdoor fun and have them not end up under a car or in a coyote’s mouth. And I’m not judging, rather hoping to educate. I grew up with indoor/outdoor cats and all but one did not live very long lives. Now I just keep them inside and honestly they’re not unhappy. We do totally agree on the need to shoo the coyotes away. I’ve had one in my backyard literally perched on a brick wall trying to get a feral cat on the neighbor’s roof. Other than scaring away and not leaving any food out, maybe someone else will have some ideas.

  22. Every time I see one of these sad Missing Cat (or small dog) signs, I think: If you let your animal outside, it WILL BE EATEN by a coyote! When people think their animal “loves to play outside,” well, kids love to play in the street and teenagers love to drive cars recklessly. That doesn’t mean we let that happen.

    Since coyotes are a) a natural part of our urban wildlife ecosystem, b) are no longer trapped by the City, and c) have an odd group of defenders who use them as a political ploy to oppose park projects, it’s now essential that any pet owners/guardians recognize that this is a highly hazardous environment for their pets. You can’t “shoo coyotes away.” You can’t “keep them safe” outside. Coyotes will jump or dig under your fence, grab your animal from your deck while you enjoy chardonnay, or your Pomeranian as you stroll along the Silver Lake Reservoir running path.


  23. The best way to protect your animals from coyotes–and the many other dangers waiting outside–is to always keep them indoors and allow them out only on a leash or in a fenced area, with constant supervision. Animals who are left out unattended are also in danger of being hit by cars, poisoned or shot by cruel people, and worse. Letting your animal companions roam is irresponsible and an invitation for tragedy.

  24. The Flash experience was def an eye opener. Believe me, we are alot more aware and have changed the routine with our other pets. Thanks again everyone for your feedback. 🙂 FYI we have contacted Officer Randall over at Lacy Street Animal Shelter and he is aware of all the spottings and the possiblility of the pack of 5 living up on the top of Ewing on the property of the fenced in vacant house. Hopefully they can handle that sitch. Every little bit counts! 🙂

  25. wow! i mean, just the other day my cat told me how deeply upset he is about getting older and how as each month passes his fear of death increases.
    he depends on me to deliver maximum lifespan.
    i’ve outfitted him with some tiny knee pads and saftey glasses and am in the process of building him an armored suit so he can enter the living room unattended.
    in any case, i agree with everyone here that for every indoor/ outdoor cat there exists a despicable godless villain completely incapable of the kind of love i have for my cat.

  26. @J-A I give you an A+ for creativity, but an F for empathy. Come see me after class.

  27. @ Mark: Interesting. For what it is worth, I actually think J-A’s post actually IS empathetic to the owner and is basically of making fun of those who think cats should not ever be allowed outside without a suit of armour and that any pet owner who would allow that is a “despicable godless villain”. Tongue so obviously in cheek.

    @ Deanna. So sorry for your loss. Thanks for spreading the word re: coyotes in the neighborhood and warning people that just bringing them in at night may not be enough anymore as they seem to have changed their habits.

  28. I think it’s time I chimed in. You humans characterize us as some sort of wild savages who think nothing of the pain that we might cause. But we do – we understand that you humans form bonds with cats, but let’s not forget that at the end of the day, to some of us, CATS ARE FOOD. We have to eat. Before our untrodden land was gentrified by the homo sapiens we roamed freely. My great great great great great great great grandfather roamed the valley that is now Echo Park blvd attacking lynxes.

    This is Echo Park – and I would just like some of you to start showing respect for us older residents. Please don’t attack us.

  29. @ A Coyote,
    I’m in that aforementioned Avalon and Preston corner and host (not own) three such roaming cats. I’ve seen you (along with the standard pack of racoons, possums, and the occasional rat the size of a small dog) often times as I’m leaving for work at 7ish.While I love my cats to death (no pun intended there), and I would cry like a baby if something happened to them, I’d totally understand if you decide to snack on them – us intruding in your native land, and nature being nature and all. I’ll do my best to monitor their well-being (respecting their natural instincts) bu just in case I goof up, just let me know if I should leave the stake sauce outside. In the meantime, hang tight, be safe, and please bear with me as MAYBE one day I will figure out a way to get my head out of my butt and stop expecting that the world revolve around my needs. Say hi to the other critters at the park and apologize in advance when I decide to pick on say, squirrels, for eating from the fruit trees in “my” yard. I’ll try not to pick on the crows, hawks, and miscellaneous birds for flying on the sky above my house; but cannot guarantee that my own sense of entitlement will not prevent me from going after spiders. They are a nasty bunch. Well, not really, but why do they have to scare me in my own house? Whom should I call to restrict them to scare and weave in a specific area? Peace.

  30. I think it’s durn scary,the way animals are dissapering, due to mean people, or coyotes. I keep my cats up, I only let them out to run when I am out.

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