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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Living safely with coyotes

Living safely with coyotes

The city would like to remind residents that we are entering the mating and birthing season (January – May) for coyotes.  

This is a time when coyotes may become more active, territorial and confrontational in nature. It is important that you are always aware of your surroundings and take extra precautions to ensure your pet’s safety.


NEVER feed a coyote. Coyotes are attracted to neighborhoods due to the availability of garbage, pet food and even pets, which coyotes see both as prey and competition. 

Reduce the risk to your pet by following these guidelines:

Cat owners:

  • The only way to guarantee your cat’s safety is to keep it indoors. 

Dog owners:

  • Always supervise your pet outside, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Keep your dog on a short leash while recreating — avoid retractable leashes.
  • Do not allow your dog to play or interact with a coyote.
  • If possible, pick up your dog when coyotes are visible.
  • Avoid known or potential den sites and thick vegetation.
  • Like domestic dogs, coyotes will defend their territory and their young.
  • If you must leave your dog outside unsupervised, secure it in a fully enclosed kennel.  

Although naturally curious, coyotes are usually timid animals and normally run away if confronted. Coyote attacks on humans are rare.

Hazing coyotes:  In order to instill the fear of humans back into coyotes, hazing of coyotes is encouraged. If you encounter a coyote, make them feel uncomfortable around you by doing the following.     

Hazing examples can include:

  • throw rocks at them
  • yelling/waving your arms
  • air horns/whistles
  • repellent spray

Watch this video produced by the City of Aurora on how to haze a coyote.

Under Westminster Municipal Code 6-2-9 Firearms: 
(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly discharge firearms, deadly weapons or destructive devices of any kind or description within the limits of the city; provided, however, that this shall not apply to police officers in the discharge of their duties. 

What should you do if a coyote is close to you:

S - STOP! Do Not Run! If you run the animal might chase.
M - MAKE yourself look big! Put your hands over your head or pull up your jacket over your head.
A - ANNOUNCE firmly “Leave Me Alone!” Shout in a loud voice at the animal.
R - RETREAT! Back away from the animal slowly.
T - TELL an adult! If you are an adult, report the encounter to the City of Westminster at 303-658-2400. 

If you witness a coyote attack or are attacked by one, please call  911.

Get complete details about coyote dangers and how to avoid them. 

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