Coyote Safety Information

The City of Goleta is sharing this information from Santa Barbara County Animal Services:

Coyote sightings are being reported with increased frequency in the City of Goleta and surrounding Santa Barbara County areas. Although no humans have been harmed, there have been some reports of coyotes approaching people while walking their dogs. In some cases, it has been reported that the wild animals appear comfortable around people.

Coyotes are medium-sized animals that belong to the dog family. Most adults weigh between 25 and 40 pounds and resemble a small gray or brown dog. Their natural diet consists of mice, rats, ground squirrels, gophers, and rabbits; however, they also eat insects, reptiles, amphibians, fruits, birds and their eggs, and deer fawns. In urban and suburban areas coyotes can also eat domestic house cats, small dogs, poultry, and other animals as well as available pet food and garbage. Coyotes are typically nocturnal, but during cooler seasons or in drought conditions they may be seen during daylight hours.

Never intentionally feed a wild animal. Once wild animals have lost their fear of humans through unnecessary interaction, they can become aggressive or too comfortable with humans for their own safety. Not only is feeding wild animals like coyotes irresponsible and dangerous, it is illegal if it results in a change in an animal’s normal behavior patterns. Please respect and help protect these wild animals.

Helpful Tips to Avoid Coyotes: 

  • Remove sources of food and water, especially at night. This includes pet bowls, fallen fruit from trees, and water in bird baths.
  • Secure garbage can lids or store them indoors.
  • Ensure outdoor enclosures for rabbits, poultry, birds, etc. are well secured.
  • Put away bird feeders and leftover poultry food at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
  • Do not leave dogs, cats, and other pets outside unattended, especially at night.

What To Do if You See a Coyote in Your Neighborhood:

  • Do not approach it.
  • Make loud noises.
  • If you have a close encounter with any large wild animal, pick up and hold children and small pets. Do not turn your back, instead make loud noises and calmly back away.

Additional Information and Resources:

For more information on coexisting with urban wildlife, residents can visit Animal Services website at and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at

For wildlife emergencies (sick or injured animals) residents can call SB City Animal Control at (805) 963-1513, Wildlife Care at (805) 681-1080, SB County Animal Services as (805) 681-5285 or submit an online request.

To report conflicts or sightings of wild animals, citizens can call the local Fish & Wildlife office at (805) 568-1231.