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  • BVNA

Managing Neighborhood Coyotes

Tips to avoid interactions Coyotes are a part of a healthy ecosystem in Santa Clara County, but that can lead to sightings and interactions with people and domestic animals. With recent accounts of possible coyotes attacking small pets in Mountain View, we encourage you to follow a few recommendations and tips for avoiding coyote interactions before they happen.

To report a coyote sighting in your residential area, please go to or call the Santa Clara County Vector Control District at (408) 918-4770.

In case of immediate danger involving any wild animal, call 911.

The below information provides guidance on how to properly maintain your property, protect your pets, and react if you encounter a coyote. Information is also available online:

Your Property

  • Trim and clear brush and dense vegetation from around your house and near the ground that could provide hiding places for coyotes and habitat for rats and mice.

  • Pick up fallen fruit, which attracts coyotes and their prey including rats, mice, and birds

  • Secure your garbage and recycle bin lids. Coyotes have a keen sense of smell. Strong garbage odors and food left outdoors are attractive to coyotes, as well as other wildlife.

  • 6’ fencing, secured below ground level, including a 1 1/2 foot overhang slanted outward from the yard can help to prevent coyotes from scaling a fence or digging under it. Wooden stockade and chain link fencing are easily climbed by coyotes

  • Small children shouldn’t play outside unsupervised.

Walking your Pets

  • Keep your pets on a fixed-length leash when walking them. Retractable leashes allow dogs to travel an unsafe distance away from you.

  • Take note if your pets seem nervous and frightened when outside. They may have encountered or smelled a coyote nearby.

Your Pets at Home

  • Never leave pet food or water outside. Pet food and bird feeders directly attract coyotes and animals that coyotes eat.

  • Poultry or hobby livestock should be secured in sturdy cages or pens every night.

  • Pets should be brought in at night. Make Coyotes Uncomfortable

  • Use loud noises to scare coyotes away (e.g., an air horn, a referee whistle, or shaking a can with marbles/coins inside). Tolerating their presence encourages coyotes (and other wildlife) to remain nearby and lose their fear of humans.

  • Install strategically placed motion detector lights outside to deter coyotes from your home. They tend to shy away from lighted areas.

  • Stray dogs or cats can compete for food with coyotes and may be eaten themselves. Call your local Animal Control to report abandoned animals.

If you have questions or comments, please call (408) 918-4770 or email

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