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Los Altos Police Department
Monday March 13th, 2017 :: 04:42 p.m. PDT


Learn how to best avoid & respond to a coyote encounter

Over the past several years, reports of coyote activity in the area rise during the spring and summer months. Although this activity has mainly occurred in Los Altos Hills, we want to make you “Coyote Aware” by sharing information with you, and asking you to share it with others. If we can prevent one pet from being killed, or resident from feeling threatened, it’s all worth it!

Please keep the following tips in mind:

  • If you see a coyote that appears to be healthy and non-aggressive, the best thing to do is leave it alone and it will move on. However, if a coyote is acting aggressive toward you or your pet, or appears to be injured or sick, please call Palo Alto Police Dispatch at (650) 329-2413 and an Animal Control Officer will respond as soon as possible.
  • Never feed coyotes. Their life and your safety depend on coyotes remaining wild and naturally wary of people.
  • Remove attractants; pick up trash, secure garbage, and feed pets indoors. Do not leave food or pets outside at night.
  • Walk dogs on leashes, per Los Altos Municipal Code Section 5.08.010, especially during coyote pup rearing season (April-August). Pick up your small dog if you see a coyote and don’t let pets roam.
  • Coyotes are not typically aggressive toward humans. If approached, don’t run. Wave your arms, make noise and walk toward the coyote until it retreats. Be “Big, Bad and Loud.”
  • Avoid areas where coyotes may be denning or feeding/hiding pups.
  • Appreciate coyotes from a distance.
If interested, the Town of Los Altos Hills held a public information meeting in 2014 about coexisting with the coyote population and recorded it for all to see. The video is very informative, and should answer most of the questions and concerns you have. It is highly recommended you watch this video if you live near a coyote’s natural habitat:

For even more information on Coyote activity, visit or contact the Santa Clara County Vector Control District at (408) 918-4770 or

Los Altos Police Department
1 N San Antonio Rd
Los Altos, CA 94022

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-947-2770

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