The home in the 300 block of Brockmont Drive has been abandoned since being gutted by a fire in November. Amid complaints from neighbors about blight and safety issues, the owners pulled a permit Aug. 5 to demolish the house, but in the meantime, a pack of at least seven coyotes has been seen using the property as a possible den.
During an earlier visit, the area was found to be too open to place traps, said Michael Pearson, with the Los Angeles County Department of Agriculture Commissioner/Weights and Measures, the agency that makes trapping assessments.
Pets or unsuspecting pedestrians could wander into the structure and be injured by the traps, he said.
Cathy and Terry Molloy, who live next to the fire-damaged home, have constructed a fence that divides their backyard from their neighbor’s.
They videotaped six coyotes running and milling about in their backyard about two months ago, before the fence was built. They said the coyotes had come over from the backyard of the burned-out home, which is owned by Brett and Lisa van den Berg, who have given county officials permission to set traps on the property.
The Molloys said they believe that for a while, five coyote pups and their parents lived in the vacant house. They now see only three of the young coyotes.
Cathy Molloy said the animals are surprisingly docile.
“They think humans are their family,” she said. “But eventually they’re going to get hungry and they’re going to turn on us.”
Lorenz said a major concern is that the coyotes will become so comfortable living among humans that the pack won’t return to its habitat. The coyotes could then become aggressive when protecting their territory or young.
Gary Naeve, who lives across the street, said he has seen as many as four coyotes at one time.
Coyotes have also been reported in yards along Arbor Drive downhill from the burned-out home. Pearson said he believes they are the same animals that have been seen along Brockmont.
Deputy City Atty. Yvette Neukian has been working with the van den Bergs to move the demolition forward. They have six months from the time the permit was issued Aug. 5 to tear the house down, but Neukian said the city is stressing that the work needs to be done sooner.
Residents should refrain from leaving pet food or trash out because the coyotes could use them as food sources, officials said. Residents should also take extra care when walking pets.
Lorenz said residents in the neighborhood have also been asked to clear brush on their properties because coyotes can use it to make a den.