After a coyote was fatally struck by a car this week, a Tesoro del Valle resident questioned the response time of the Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Department in handling the treatment of a wounded coyote on Mcbean Parkway Monday morning.
Michael Gharibi said while driving home early in the morning from a friend’s house, he saw the animal walking across the street and managed to avoid it. He said the animal appeared to have already been injured by another vehicle.
“It was dragging its body across the road, and when he reached the far-left lane, I came to a stop. I put my hazard lights on, got out of the car and started videoing it so that I would have video evidence of it being alive and everything.”
A few minutes before 1 a.m., while still standing outside his car on McBean Parkway, Gharibi called the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“I told them about it and they said, ‘No worries, we’re going to send an officer and I’m going to call animal control in a couple of minutes,’” said Gharabi, recounting his version of events.
It was at that moment, a vehicle traveling the same direction as Gharibi slammed into the back of the Tesoro resident’s vehicle, sending his vehicle roughly 100 feet down the road.
“(My car) still misses the coyote, and so I call the cops again,” said Gharabi, saying he now need to inform them of the crash. He said the deputy who immediately responded to the crash said Animal Control would get there.
Gharabi would eventually be forced to leave as his car needed towing, and he had yet to see a member of Animal Control. He said on Friday that he was disappointed in the response from the county and that they should find better alternatives.
When The Signal went to the scene later Monday morning, the coyote remained there, still alive as of 11 a.m.
Animal Control officials said that they did arrive and take the coyote into their custody. However, after looking at the extent of the wild animal’s injuries, he was subsequently humanely euthanized that same day, according to Department spokeswoman Don Belton.
“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife does not allow the relocation of wild animals; therefore, the department does not pick up wild animals unless they are sick or injured and require medical attention,” reads the county department’s website. “Should you encounter a sick or injured wild animal, do not approach or handle the animal.”
Belton said Friday afternoon that, due to a medical emergency, the graveyard shift Animal Care and Control employee for the area was not available.
“We did receive a call from the sheriff at 1:30 a.m., but in this particular situation, we did not have anyone on staff at the time,” said Belton. “We tried to reroute it to nearby offices and other jurisdictions, such as the Antelope Valley in Palmdale and Lancaster, but they were unavailable.
“So, efforts were made to reach out to another officer, but unfortunately we were unsuccessful,” Belton added. “The next available officer handled (it) at that time (approximately 11 a.m.).”