Coyote and other wildlife information
Many residents in Huntington Beach and all of Orange County experience occasional visits from local wildlife, especially those that reside in newly developed neighborhoods or areas next to protected parks and wilderness trails. During spring time, these visits may become more frequent as this is the breeding season for many wild animals. While some residents understand that wildlife is being pushed from their natural habitat and take pleasure in these visits, many consider them a nuisance because of late night forages in trash cans, messes left behind and the occasional "setting up camp" in or around one's property.
Small pets can easily become coyote prey. Cats and small dogs should not be allowed outside alone, even in a fenced yard. It is highly recommended that their owner always accompany small pets. Though coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, they can be observed at all hours of the day and will not pass up the opportunity for an easy meal. A dog or cat left in a backyard can be taken in a matter of moments. Eradication and/or relocation of the urban coyote is not effective. These programs actually provide a vacuum in nature, causing these animals to have even larger litters, ultimately increasing the coyote population.
The City of Huntington Beach contracts with OC Animal Care for animal services. OC Animal Care receives many calls about wildlife from residents throughout the year. In an effort to alleviate their concerns, we have some helpful tips to discourage wildlife activity in their neighborhoods.
- Keep pet food indoors and do not leave food of any kind outside at night. Food left out at night will be taken as a welcome invitation by wildlife, and may prompt a future visit.
- Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult.
- Remove any fruit which has fallen to the ground.
- Store trash in covered, heavy-duty containers.
- Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds, and enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
- Eliminate garbage, debris, lumber piles, etc.
- Check fencing and try to eliminate access points to roof tops.
- Change automatic sprinkler settings regularly.
Taking these preventive measures should help in deterring wildlife from visiting your property. Please remember that if the three (3) life sustaining elements are available (food, water and shelter), you are likely to encounter some wildlife in your area. OC Animal Care will respond to situations regarding any wildlife that is sick, injured, dead, or has had physical contact with a human or domestic animal. For more information on the laws pertaining to urban wildlife and their protection visit the Department of Fish and Game's website at www.dfg.ca.gov. More specific information on coyotes are available at:
The contact information for OC Animal Care is:
Hours of operation:
(714) 935-6848 or (949) 249-5160
Huntington Beach Police Dispatch: (714) 960-8825
In an emergency, call 911.