I had joined a popular neighborhood website and noticed that people kept complaining about seeing coyotes and spreading fear and myths about them like wildfire. It was really getting on my nerves. It would be like this “Huge coyote spotted on the corner of Moulton and Nellie Gail. Beware!” Then everybody would be like “Oh my gosh and then chime in with “I saw one running through the park” and another person with “One killed my cat who I left outside all night”.
Thus, I made a somewhat sarcastic comment with a simple message that started World War III on the website. It went something like this: “Here is an idea, be responsible with your pets, don’t leave them unattended or outside at night and let the coyotes exist in peace. It is their planet too and where does everybody expect them to go? Should they all commit a mass suicide like Jonestown so they don’t contaminate your well-manicured lawns in your fancy houses?” I guess I didn’t feel obligated to sugarcoat my opinion. I live in a very wealthy neighborhood, though not wealthy myself. These people were ignorant, and carelessly starting to spread panic that would end in a mass coyote extermination.
There are barely any coyotes I have seen running around in Laguna Niguel, California. I have lived here for ten years and spotted exactly five in that whole time. What few remain are skinny, starving terrified dogs who are non-aggressive towards humans. They are frantically searching for ways to feed their young and surviving from mostly rabbits. The gigantic houses in this area, generally occupied by all of two or three people have taken away just about any space for them to live in peace.
I was surprised and happy to find that many people being supported my views and thanked me for speaking up. I replied in my post that “They are just like us. They want to live, eat, take care of their babies, have shelter and safety, not feel pain nor fear, have fun and play etc…” I was hoping to bring out more empathy in those who cared.
It worked. I was asked for information on how they could actually help stop these animals from being slaughtered. However, we always have those “Negative Nellie Gailers” who had to oppose any solution that might threaten their Stepford living. Three of them, in particular, started a relentless campaign against me and got me kicked off the website. Insults were hurled at me, I was jealous of their money, my cat was lazy, I was illiterate, I climb up stop signs and post “Save the Coyote Signs” in order to try and cause traffic accidents… People really start reaching when they don’t have anything to say!
Sadly their spoilt child behavior ruined the campaign, I spent three months, tirelessly working to try and stop the snaring of these coyotes. I was both motivated by the encouragement of others and emotionally drained by the Three Stooges. I don’t think they even cared about the animals, they just couldn’t stand the idea of a not so wealthy, non-white female residing in their neighborhood with the nerve to disagree with them.
Their next attack was to broadcast that the coyotes were hunting toddlers and because of this, the local politician launched a plan to target five specific coyotes who were known as the “problem makers” with snares. So wait, how exactly do they know one coyote from another?
I called the politician repeatedly. I tried getting ahold of PETA, the Channel 7 news, the Coyote Defense Leagues etc… A lot of people were also very upset along with me. I felt completely useless and depressed. I was also very angry, and my temper got ahead of me when I felt like I was being backed into a corner like a helpless coyote myself. The snaring went ahead.
DETEST THIS ROB WALDNER GUY! HE CHANGED HIS PROFILE PICTURE TO A MAN WEARING A WOLF MASK! IDIOT. I SHOULD NOT HAVE LET HIM GET UNDER MY SKIN THE WAY HE DID. HE HAD MADE NUMEROUS COMMENTS THAT GOT ME TO THIS POINT!
After the administrators allowed me back on the site again, they sent me supportive personal messages, just asking me please not to break the rules. This time the trio of terror had had me kicked off for “soapboxing”. I was able to check my latest messages, people frantically were asking me who they could call and what they could do. They really cared. But by the time I was allowed back up on the site, it was too late to give out that information to those people. It could have been stopped.
Only speaking up in numbers really makes a difference. I will not lie and say I am still not bitter towards those poor excuses for humanity making up evil lies and the blood that was shed will forever lay in their hands. Plus karma, God or the universe, whatever you believe has a way of making things even! To make things even more rotten is that it would not even just be coyotes caught in these traps, other innocent species would too. A company called Critter Busters were responsible for the killings.
The world is not a fair place. But, I plead with anyone who cares to speak up against animal cruelty. Speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. If you don’t say anything, even if you think you will make zero difference, then guaranteed you will make zero difference! Many people feel the same way you do, whether it be about animals or whatever cause you are passionate about, this is the only way the world will get changed into being a better place. Doing what we can from our tiny corner with voices that can be heard. Though I feel I failed those coyotes, perhaps I didn’t completely fail them all.
I hope those people who I reached out too may just tell other people or take it upon themselves to try and do something. It’s a cliche I know, but one we should never forget. Because if I got through to even one person on behalf of those animals, that one person may have the power or connections to the power to stop or reduce the number of animals that are needlessly killed.
Ignorance is bliss and to bully someone for trying to help animals makes you an a**hole!
Our Anti-Heroes of Nellie Gail!
- Nancy Wagner
- Rob Waldner (hiding behind a wolf mask)
- Ron Davies (Orange County Dental Anesthesiologist)