Coyotes are increasingly being spotted roaming in residential neighborhoods far from the hills, including in Windsor Square. Sightings are not uncommon when the animals come down from the hills particularly when food and water are difficult to find, such as in summer months. They have on occasion taken small animals and can jump over seven foot fences and walls. Please be careful with your pets.

Tips for Protecting Your Pets

  • Keep Pets Indoors at Night: Coyotes are most active at dusk and dawn. If possible, keep your pets indoors during these hours. Provide secure, covered outdoor enclosures if pets must remain outside.
  • Avoid Leaving Food Outside: Pet food left outdoors can attract coyotes. Feed your pets indoors or promptly remove any uneaten food.   Coyotes also eat fruit, so promptly pick up any fallen fruit from fruit trees in your yard.   Intentionally feeding or watering coyotes is illegal in Los Angeles.  
  • Leash Your Dogs: While walking your dog, always use a leash, especially in areas known for coyote activity.  Be especially careful around large bushes near sidewalks where coyotes may make dens and wait for prey.   Carry a whistle or air horn that can be used to scare off any approaching coyotes.    Some neighbors have taken to carrying bear spray while walking their dogs.   This is a highly potent pepper spray in an aerosol container that can spray as far as 50 feet.
  • Teach Coyotes to Fear Humans Through Hazing:  Make noise, wave your arms, and throw rocks at coyotes if you encounter one on the street or in your yard.   Most city and county animal control authorities strongly recommend hazing to help reestablish in coyotes a natural fear of humans. Consistent community effort is vital in making hazing effective.
  • Install Motion-Activated Lights: Good lighting can deter coyotes from entering your property. Consider installing motion-activated lights around your yard.
  • Educate Your Neighbors: Encourage your neighbors, especially those with pets, to follow these same practices.
Santa Monica Mtns Natl Rec Area photo by Connar L'Ecuyer
Santa Monica Mtns Natl Rec Area photo by Connar L’Ecuyer

A very helpful and current flyer on dealing coyotes is available on the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services website. More information about the coyote itself is available on the University of California Integrated Pest Management page. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife coyote page has links with more information about co-existing with coyotes.

If you encounter a coyote displaying aggressive behavior, please file a Los Angeles County report and a California Wildlife Incident Report.  Please note that reporting an incident is used primarily for statistical and monitoring purposes, and does not guarantee any follow-up. If a human has been bitten by a coyote, seek medical attention and then call the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at 888-334-2258.

From Officer Dinh ( at LA Animal Services:

Please keep in mind, this is the time of year where all the wild babies born in spring are now juveniles and learning the terrain. It may seem like more, but it is temporary (67% mortality rate for coyotes naturally) unless there is enough food to sustain them.  The most important thing to realize is this is also a very impressionable state, which we humans should take advantage and haze without harming them.  If the juveniles want to learn, teach them that your residential area is no place for them.  Do not provide any source of food, such as access to garbage, uneaten fruits, pet food left outside and, unfortunately, even small pets left unattended. Clutter and dense brush should also be removed from your yard, as they harbor rodents.  Make sure if you all have any guests, advise them to do the same. Let’s give coyotes little reason to hang around and remind them to stay naturally afraid of us.

Please also check our older posts about the animals.