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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

January 24, 2010 at 6:00 AM

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Wile E. Coyote's new nemesis

Posted by Letters editor

Bill before House will help problem

Editor, The Times:

Tina, the little Chihuahua-pug mix, is lucky to be alive [“Pet scrapes with coyote, lives to wiggle happily,” NWWednesday, Jan. 13]. Thanks to a concerned citizen, the coyote dropped the dog and ran off. A few more minutes and the situation could have been fatal for Tina.

Fortunately, scenarios such as these can be prevented by making sure dogs are on a leash. Even well-trained canines can get excited and run off. Coyotes are urban survivalists and will help themselves to pet food in backyards, and their diets are sometimes augmented by free-roaming small pets.

Crowded out of their habitat by humans, some wildlife become opportunists tempted by an easy meal. They can become aggressive, causing property damage and clashing with pets and humans. People should reduce temptations — feed pets indoors or bring food in at night, secure garbage and keep pets close and leashed.

There’s an important bill before our state’s Legislature that would also help reduce wildlife conflicts: House Bill 1885 bans the intentional feeding of coyotes, cougars, wolves, deer, elk, bears and raccoons — wildlife officials and licensed rehabilitators are exempt. This bill won’t penalize you for feeding Fido outdoors, but it helps officials investigate, educate and fine people who intentionally feed potentially harmful wildlife.

Please urge your legislators to support HB 1885 to keep people, pets and wildlife safe.

— Sharon Sneddon, Edmonds

Don’t kill Magnolia coyotes

If you can find the coyote and kill it you can figure out how to trap it [“Officers to hunt, kill magnolia coyotes,” page one, Jan. 22].

It is a tiresome and less-than-civilized mentality that the best response humans can come up with is to exercise the ultimate sanction on animals. If we hadn’t disrupted and displaced animal habitats and disregarded the rights of animals to exist and coexist with humans, then these incursions wouldn’t happen; but since they do, we should be more humane in our solutions. Killing is the easy way out.

— Elizabeth Campbell, Seattle

Keep pets inside

This must be stopped. We share the world with animals and we must understand that it is their planet as much as it is ours.

It’s common sense — if you are with a small child, hold his/her hand, if you are out with your dog, keep your dog on a leash. Keep your cats inside.

Coyotes keep overpopulation of other animals in check. Let’s use our minds and think about our actions rather than obliterate an animal because it is hungry.

— Dolores Rogers, Seattle

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