Urban Wildlife Management Plan


City Service Center

Monitoring and data collection are critical components of an effective Urban Wildlife Management Plan, and the City of Pasadena City Service Center (CSC) records and tracks coyote sightings and encounters. Information can be submitted using the online reporting system or by calling (626) 744-7311.

Pasadena Humane Society

The Pasadena Humane Society (PHS) will respond to attacks and aggressive habituated coyote behavior.  Contact PHS at (626) 792-7151.

Pasadena Police Department

In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1

The Pasadena Public Health Department has developed an Urban Wildlife Management Plan (Plan) to provide guidance for city staff when dealing with wildlife, such as coyotes, in Pasadena. The City’s strategy for managing wildlife is based on balancing respect and protection for wildlife while also protecting public safety. The strategy is a three-pronged approach that includes education of the public, enforcement of laws, and categorization of coyote interactions to correctly identify and respond to threats. The plan requires active participation on the part of the entire community including residents, homeowner associations, volunteers, and city personnel.

Urban Wildlife Management Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

Coyotes are regulated under the California Fish and Game Code which is enforced by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Pasadena Humane Society (PHS) does not provide field response to calls for service for normal wildlife behavior, such as coyote sightings.  However, these calls are recorded and documented.  PHS does respond to calls which involve sick or injured coyotes, and coyotes that jeopardize public safety, such as a coyote threatening people in a yard, park, playground, or school.  PHS is available to advise residents on how to implement prevention measures to minimize interactions with wildlife, and how to keep wildlife wild through hazing.

Food – Deliberately feeding coyotes is prohibited by California Code of Regulations Section 251.1 and Pasadena Municipal Code Section 6.32.110, but residents must also be careful to eliminate unintentional sources of food.  Avoid feeding pets outside, but if you must, remove the bowl as soon as your pet has finished eating.  If you compost, use enclosed bins and never compost meat or dairy.  Clean up spilled bird feed around feeders, remove fallen fruit from the ground, and maintain barbeque equipment free of drippings and grease.  Finally, keep trash in high-quality containers with tight-fitting lids and store them indoors if possible until the morning of collection.

Free Roaming Pets – Free roaming pets, especially cats and small dogs, may attract coyotes into neighborhoods.  Always keep cats indoors or let them outside under supervision with a harness and leash or in a secure enclosure.  Dogs should not be left outside unattended and should always be kept on a leash that is less than 6 feet in length in public areas.

Feral Cat Colonies – Coyotes are attracted to feral cats and the food that is left out for them.  For this reason, a comprehensive plan to reduce coyote attractants in a neighborhood may include avoiding or discontinuing this activity.

Coyotes tend to be skittish and fearful of humans, and they occasionally venture into cities and suburbs in search of food, new territory, or because they have been displaced.  When coyotes identify a reliable food source in a residential neighborhood, they become less fearful, will return frequently, and may even enter into people’s garages or homes.  This brazen behavior is learned and is known as habituated behavior.

Hazing is a method that uses deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable behavior.  The simplest method of hazing a coyote involves being loud and large.  If the coyote does not immediately run you may need to walk toward the coyote and increase the intensity of your hazing.  Hazing should be continued until the coyote leaves the area completely.  If the coyote returns, start the hazing again.  It typically takes one to two times to haze a coyote away for good.  Never turn your back to a coyote or run away.

Using a variety of hazing methods is critical because coyotes can habituate to individual items, sounds, and actions.

  • Yell and wave your arms while walking toward the coyote
  • Use noisemakers such as whistles, air horns, bells, cans filled with pennies, or pots and pans banged together
  • Use projectiles such as sticks, rocks, cans, and tennis balls
  • Try other repellents such as hoses and water guns, spray bottles filled with vinegar, pepper spray, bear repellant, and walking sticks

There are several tools for repelling coyotes that you can carry with you while walking your dog.  Of course, remember that you should always walk your dog on a short leash.  If you see a coyote, pick up your dog or place him behind you before hazing.

  • Blow a whistle or air horn at the coyote, yell, and wave your arms
  • Squirt a squirt gun filled with water or vinegar at the coyote
  • Use a homemade noisemaker such as pennies in a soda can
  • Pick up sticks and rocks and throw them toward the coyote

Unfortunately, this approach is not effective.  Coyotes live in packs, and the space in between the packs is populated by transient coyotes.  Removing a group of territorial coyotes will create an undefended area into which the transient coyotes will flow.  At all times of the year, numbers of transients are immediately available to replenish any voids created by removing or killing resident coyotes.  Further, if either the alpha male or alpha female in a pack is removed, the resulting effect may be ovulation in other breeding-age females in the pack and an increase in the number of litters as well as the number of pups per litter.  Nevertheless, under very specific circumstances, such as a particular coyote being determined a threat to humans (not pets), the City will take action in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Pasadena Humane Society.

City Service Center - The City of Pasadena City Service Center (CSC) records and tracks coyote sightings and encounters.  The website, downloadable application, and call center are designed to provide users access to submit complaints and concerns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Information can be submitted using the online reporting system or by calling (626) 744-7311.

Pasadena Humane Society - The Pasadena Humane Society (PHS) will respond to attacks and aggressive habituated coyote behavior.
Contact PHS at (626) 792-7151.

Pasadena Police Department - In the event of an emergency, such as a coyote biting or attempting to bite a human, call 9-1-1.

Coyote trapping is legal in the City of Pasadena if the property owner follows relevant state and local laws including the following requirements:

  • No person may set a trap within 150 yards of a residence without written consent from the property owner. CA Code of Regulations, Title 14, § 465.5 (G) (3)
  • Coyote trapping may only be performed by individuals certified by the State of California to trap and remove coyotes. The trapper must follow all laws and regulations for trapping. Fish and Game Code Section 4005; CA Code of Regulations, Title 14, § 465.5; and CA Fish and Game Code Title 4152
  • Transporting trapped wildlife to a veterinarian or other animal care facility is prohibited. Trappers shall immediately kill or release the animal. CA Code of Regulations, Title 14 465.5
  • Any trapper who traps a coyote(s) in Pasadena shall not relocate the animal because all furbearing and nongame mammals that are legal to trap must be immediately released or killed. California Code of Regulations Title 14 § 465.5 (G) (1)
  • Since discharge of a firearm within city limits is prohibited by City of Pasadena Ordinance, the sole method of killing a trapped coyote is by portable gas chamber to humanely euthanize the animal. City of Pasadena Code of Ordinances Chapter 9.80.010

The guidance provided here is designed to provide essential information related to coyote trapping in the City of Pasadena. It is not a summary of all relevant laws. Any individual or entity interested in trapping coyotes should contact the relevant regulatory agency (or agencies) to confirm the most current legal requirements. Violations of state and/or local law is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not less than $300 or more than $2,000, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both fine and imprisonment.  The City of Pasadena City Prosecutor maintains jurisdiction for prosecuting offenders.