Wheaton Patch accepts and publishes letters to the editor emailed to Local Editor Charlotte Eriksen at Charlotte@patch.com, or sent as a message through the Wheaton Patch Facebook page. Please note in subject lines the message is a Letter to the Editor.
The following is a letter Wheaton resident Kathy O'Brien sent to Wheaton Police Chief Mark Field:
I am very dismayed to see that the Wheaton Police Department has decided to keep its head in the sand concerning the public safety of Wheaton residents after recent coyote attacks. To think that when a traffic accident occurs, an email is sent out... Yet this is what has happened four times within the last three weeks in a two-city area and will keep happening until the coyotes are killed.
One of the incidents had two dogs in a fenced backyard with the adult and the attack still occurred.
Your limited scope of postcard warnings of 750' is a joke unless you firmly believe that the coyotes only travel a 750' diameter and their attacks are centrally located in the specific area you have deemed deserves coverage.
You and the City of Wheaton are putting all of the responsibility on the residents to prevent attacks without even giving us the specifics of the past repeated attacks!
The 'coexist with coyotes' campaign is a stupid waste of energy of the police and city trying to appease certain loud mouth "residents." The actual taxpayers are being given stupid directives that have no bearing unless the coyotes both understand and will maintain what you believe is their proper behavior.
They are not solitary hunters when they are traveling and killing in packs of 4 or more. Keep in mind, I am the one who called 911 on the night of Monday the 18th of January 2010, to say I had 3 coyotes on my driveway. It went without any attention by the city/police until Mr. and Mrs. Graff's dog Buddy was attacked and killed on his property January 27, 2010.
They do not scatter when yelled at, or the schools would not have had inside recesses the many times that there were "too many coyotes" out on the playground/field.
When one is carrying their dog, they are not able to clap nor wave their hands, (as if that would work!).
When one is going out for a walk, one might be able to carry, bags, tissues, keys, cell phone, water, snacks and perhaps one projectile that the rules of engagement stipulate we are to be throwing at the coyotes, yet, it is unlikely that we are possibly carrying enough to keep up our assault as we have been told we must do.
I am disgusted with the policy in that the owners of pets, who not only provide notification to the homeowners of people lurking in their vicinity and are integral to the economy of several business in the Wheaton area, such as vets, pet stores and groomers, are being subjected to excessive threats in well built-up residential areas.
The coyote population is being allowed to become a massive year round threat and it seems until they attack a child or an adult defending their child or pet, the city wants to pretend it is not a problem, or at least not their problem, even though they supposedly are the local governing body.
When homeowners are not allowed to be in their own backyard, fenced or otherwise because coyotes that are not afraid of the human smell are on their back doorstep! Not at the perimeter of the yard, not 750' away but the inch of space adjacent to the dwelling itself should make any reasonable authority realize that the conditions where coyotes fear and stay away from humans is no longer being met.
It is a problem and it will show, whether you alert the public or not, that the city/police chose not to be effective and will be accountable for their inaction.
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