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Becky just got a new dog, which is pretty big. Wed. evening in a change of their usual pattern, she decided to walk with him from Garlingford down Killybrooke toward Baker. It was about 9 PM and they were at Watson when she saw a coyote come out from between the houses and start following them. She hurried back toward her home and the coyote eventually went toward Royce.

She called and we discussed possible protective measures for the future, keeping in mind that it will be better to walk the dog a little earlier than at dark.
• Be alert to your surroundings.
• Always carry your cell phone.
• Carry a walking stick, length of broom handle or something like that.
• If you are walking a big dog, be sure you can control the dog. Some dogs want to chase the coyote so much, they can pull your arm out of its socket while trying to go after the coyote.
• If a coyote appears and starts moving toward you, start moving away.
• If the coyote continues, make yourself big, start yelling at it and throw a rock if you find one easily.
• Call the police. They have found shining a spotlight on the coyote and sounding their horn usually scares the coyote away.

If the coyote seems aggressive and you don’t think you can get away, then look for the nearest house with lights on, run up on the porch, ring the doorbell and yell, “Coyote, please help me!”

The Watch Commander on duty added we should be grateful we don’t have skunks as some Costa Mesa neighborhoods do. Please get all your neighbors to not put out food or water to feed the possums, cute raccoons, and coyotes, for we DEFINITELY do not want to find we are feeding SKUNKS!


The only thing I would add is "don't run" as this escalates the prey drive to the coyote. And I do understand that is easier said than done because "panic" takes over.

I remember once I was watching my neighbor's Beagle, Roscoe. One morning I was walking Roscoe, Lana and Abby (my dogs) and as we were walking we saw a coyote walking down the driveway of the home about three houses down. Without making a big scene I slowly turned the dogs around heading back home, the coyote saw us but went the other way. We were walking at a good pace but not running.

Maybe people can once in a while walk their dogs with other neighbors and their dogs. Dogs are pack animals, so the more the merrier in some cases. Big reminder! Do not walk your dogs off leash, especially in parks, for example, Fairview Park. This increases the risk and the potential of a coyote grabbing your dog before you blink your next eye blink. If you are using those extended or retractable leashes, keep them no longer than six feet. The longer the leash the greater chances increase that your dog will be more accessible to a coyote.

Keep your dogs current on their rabies vaccination.

Should your pet(s) get attacked by a coyote, call animal control immediately. No matter how minor the injury, animal control needs to be contacted and you need to get your pet to an emergency clinic right away for treatment.

Play it safe, keep your dogs on leash at all times when you are going for walks, keep your dogs current on their rabies vaccination and always feel free to contact Costa Mesa Animal Control if you have any questions.


When walking my two midsized dogs, I carry pepper spray. It's not the small canister that sends a diffuse spray that will land on me and my dogs, too. At sporting goods stores carrying hunting and fishing supplies, you can get a larger pepper spray canister that sends a stream ten to fifteen feet
out, before an attacker (animal or human) is way too close for comfort. I started doing that after a friend's lab was attacked by a pit bull while they were on a walk.

All that said, I have never used the spray. When approached by a coyote, I grabbed the back of my jacket and raised my arms to flip the back of the jacket above my head, creating a silhouette about six and a half feet tall. 

The coyote took off.