December 12, 2016

Preventing coyote encounters

With the growing population of coyotes in Washington, especially in the Vashon area, Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) is working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to educate residents about the risks.

“It’s important to ensure that our families and our pets are safe,” said RASKC Manager Dr. Gene Mueller. “We want people to take steps to reduce the chance that they or their pets will encounter coyotes, and encourage their neighbors to do the same.”

Prevention is the best tool for minimizing conflicts with coyotes or other wildlife. WDFW has tips for residents to discourage coyotes around their homes or farms.

  • Never feed coyotes
  • Don’t leave small children unattended where coyotes are frequently seen or heard
  • Don’t give coyotes access to garbage, fruit, or compost
  • Feed pets indoors
  • Don’t feed feral cats
  • Prevent the buildup of dropped food under bird feeders
  • Keep pets indoors, especially from dusk to dawn
  • Modify the landscape around children’s play areas
  • Build a coyote-proof fence
  • Enclose poultry (chickens, ducks, and turkeys) in a secure outdoor pen and house
  • Keep livestock and small animals that live outdoors confined in secure pens
  • Remove or bury dead livestock
  • For a large property with livestock, consider using a guard animal

For more information, visit the WDFW webpage on coyotes. For general questions about wildlife, contact WDFW at 425-775-1311 or at