WDFW says to keep a close eye on pets, children amid reports of coyote attacks in Magnolia

The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife urges residents in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood to keep their pets leashed up or indoors, following a spate of reports of pets getting attacked by coyotes.

WDFW says they have received reports of coyotes going after unsupervised pets in the neighborhood—but have said for years this is not uncommon.

Coyotes are found all over the state, WDFW says, including the shrub-steppe, alpine, and even urban and suburban areas. They are more likely to be found near large, wooded green spaces and city parks. Their diet depends on what they can find, ranging from rabbits and garbage to birdseed and tree fruit.

The critters have ample food sources and virtually no predators. They also benefit the city by controlling mice, rat, vole, mole, gopher and rabbit populations, according to WDFW.

Officials say urban coyotes are a good reminder to keep a close eye on children and pets.

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Residents are urged to keep cats inside, keep dogs leashed, and avoid early morning and late evening walks in areas that coyotes frequent. If you encounter a coyote, WDFW says do not run away. You should make loud noises, squirt it with a hose, "or otherwise ‘haze’" them if they approach.

If you see a coyote attack a pet or show other aggressive behavior, report it to WDFW online. For immediate public safety issues, call the WDFW Enforcement office at (360) 902-2936 or email enforcement-web@dfw.wa.gov.