Five Dogs Killed by Coyotes in Five Months

Fairfield Animal Control is urging residents to take extra precautions with their pets.

A dog killed by a coyote -- the fifth one in that many months -- has urging residents to take extra precautions when letting their family pets outside.

The most recent incident took place on June 6 when a Mountain Laurel Road resident let her beagle outside and found it dead in her front yard shortly after, Animal Control Officer Paul Miller said. The dog suffered injuries consistent with a coyote attack, he noted.

According to a release Miller provided, this is the fifth such attack in that area of town in the last five months. The other incidents have taken place on:

  • Hillbrook Lane
  • Lindamir Lane
  • Richard Place
  • Galloping Hill Road (2)

While the deadly coyote attacks reported have been in that area, Miller said the need for extra vigilance and precaution applies to all residents.

"They're opportunity feeders," he said of coyotes, noting that they can smell a food source from as far as a mile away. “That’s all they’re thinking about is food, food, food.”

And apparently they'll eat just about anything. One was reportedly eating candy that a kid had dropped on Summerset Road, Miller said.

While the presence of coyotes is nothing new for Fairfield, the number of attacks is something Miller said he hasn't seen a while. As such, he said pet owners should take a few steps to ensure the safety of their animals.

  • Go out with them, especially at night
  • Keep them on a leash

The reasoning behind these tips: no dogs have been attacked when a human was present, Miller said.

The rise in attacks being reported could be related to the fact that coyotes have pups during this time of year and mom is teaching them how to hunt. Eastern coyotes, the ones in our area, can grow to about 50 pounds, but look bigger with their fur coat, Miller said.

What's the Town Doing? What Can You Do?

Because of the frequency of the attacks, Animal Control has been in contact with the state Department of Enery and Environmental Protection's Wildlife Division to discuss options to deal with the coyotes. “Right now it’s still a fact finding thing,” Miller said. 

The DEEP does regulate some hunting and trapping of coyotes in serious situations. "It’s one of the conversations we’re having,” Miller said, stressing that those talks are in the early stages and all options are still on the table.

Further, he said, removing coyotes from one area would likely lead others to fill in that space, due to the territorial nature of the animal.

In the meantime, the best thing residents can do, Miller stressed, is to supervise their pets when letting them outside and to report any sightings in which they feel threatened to Fairfield Police by calling 203-254-4800. Animal Control's website also has additional information about coyotes.

What do you think the town and state should do?

R. Ludlowe June 14, 2012 at 11:41 AM
its also handy to keep a large ACME safe hoisted from a tree that can be easily dropped on these wily creatures.
DaveStoller June 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Now THAT's how you comment, people. Funny!
Jason Silver June 14, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Not really.
tonypct June 14, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Yes, it was funny.
Robert C Keppler June 14, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Serious subject. Funny comment.
Rep. Brenda Kupchick June 14, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I shared this information in April in my newsletter and on Patch. There's additional information that may be helpful. These attacks are happening though out the town. Just last week, a coyote was in my own yard close to my dogs, thankfully my husband and I were there to scare it off. Sadly, it was reported the next day that a neighbors dog was taken from it’s yard and killed. Fairfield’s lamp posts are filled with missing pet flyers and weekly reports of dogs being attacked and killed in their own yards has become common place. As a life long Fairfield resident I’ve never seen a coyote until last week. Coyotes have no predators and are increasing in numbers. I have contacted the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and their Wildlife division, Police Chief McNamara and Paul Miller, Fairfield’s Animal Control Officer regarding the overwhelming presence of coyotes in Fairfield and to ask for advice. The Wildlife Division has offered the following tips on how to handle coyotes:
Rep. Brenda Kupchick June 14, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Tips on Preventing Conflicts with Coyotes DO NOT allow pets to run free! Keep cats indoors, particularly at night, and small dogs on a leash or under close supervision at all times. The installation of a kennel or coyote-proof fencing is a long-term solution for protecting pets. A variety of livestock fencing and small animal pen designs can protect farm animals. NEVER feed coyotes! DO NOT place food out for any mammals. Clean up bird seed below feeders, pet foods, and fallen fruit. Secure garbage and compost in animal proof containers. Always walk dogs on a leash. If approached by a coyote while walking your dog, keep the dog under control and calmly leave the area. DO NOT run or turn your back. Coyotes are territorial and many reports of bold coyotes visiting yards, howling, or threatening larger dogs can often be attributed to this territorial behavior. Attempt to frighten away coyotes by making loud noises (e.g., shouting, air horn) and acting aggressively (e.g., waving your arms, throwing sticks, spraying with a hose).
Rep. Brenda Kupchick June 14, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Be aware of any coyote behaving abnormally or exhibiting unusually bold behavior (e.g., approaching people for food, attacking leashed pets that are with their owners, stalking children, chasing joggers or bikers, etc.) and report these incidents to authorities immediately. Be aware of and report any coyotes exhibiting behavior indicative of rabies, such as staggering, seizures, and extreme lethargy. Daytime activity is not uncommon and does not necessarily indicate rabies. Teach children to recognize coyotes and to go inside the house (do not run) or climb up on a swing or deck and yell if they are approached. Close off crawl spaces under porches and sheds that coyotes or other animals may use. Educate your neighbors. Ask them to follow these same steps. Regulated hunting and trapping may be used to remove problem coyotes in areas where it is safe and legal to do so. Contact the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 for more information on coyotes or other wildlife problems.
Rep. Brenda Kupchick June 14, 2012 at 08:28 PM
To report coyote problems and for control information: Local Animal Control Division (located withing Fairfield’s Police Department): (203) 254-4800 DEEP Wildlife Division: (860) 424-3011 You can also hire a state certified Nuisance Wildlife Control Officer (NWCO.) List of licensed NWCOs: http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/nwco/nwcodir.pdf Things to consider when hiring an NWCO: http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/nwco/nwcoguidelinesforhomeowner.pdf You may also obtain a list of licensed NWCOs from the Wildlife Division by calling (860) 424-3011. To report animals that are behaving abnormally or are posing an immediate public threat: Fairfield Police Department (203) 254-4800 DEEP Emergency Dispatch Office (24 hrs.): (860) 424-3333 If you’ve contacted DEEP to report a problem, it would be helpful if you let Paul Miller, Fairfield Animal Control Officer know you filed a report at (203) 254-4857.
Fairfield Resident June 15, 2012 at 04:28 AM
I have a game camera and I caught a set of pictures of three coyotes in my yard and another set of pictures of a single coyote stalking a deer in my yard from behind a pile of rocks I have.
Brian June 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM
I've seen the postings on lampposts, telephone poles, trees, everywhere. It's too bad but after a week or so, the animal is probably gone. Wish the posters would be gone too. They should be removed by those who placed them there in their desperate flurry.
Connie T. June 15, 2012 at 01:00 PM
In the past year, I have seen coyotes in my neighborhood in Fairfield on 5 different occasions. I live near Fairfield Woods Rd.
Fairfield Resident June 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM
"desperate flurry" How Compassionate......Not.
Frederick Klein June 15, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Except you are wrong, Brian. There have been stray dogs surviving for years. Recently, a dog was caught that had been living in the wild for 2 years. So I'd have to say that 1 week of postings is insufficient, and you can be a big man and put up with them for a little while.
Frederick Klein June 15, 2012 at 01:18 PM
It was funny the first time (in response to a previous post). The references to Warner Bros. cartoons every time there's a coyote story . . . starting to get tiresome.
fairfield resident June 15, 2012 at 06:42 PM
let knock up an arrow and let it fly!!
Erminia Vacirca June 15, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Good afternoon, I work for WCBS Channel 2 News. We are working on a story re: the increased number of coyote sightings in Fairfield County. We'd be very interested in seeing those photos. Can you please email us at desk@cbs2ny.com. Thanks in advance.
Michael August 08, 2012 at 07:31 AM
If you can't properly protect or watch your animal, it is really your own fault. People let their animals run free in a fenced in yard at night, without supervision, and without even checking their fences or property for evidence of openings, burrows, droppings, or other animals. Coyotes rely on rodents, small mammals, and when they haven't eaten, will take risks to get to unsecured garbage cans, or small pets left alone, whether it be a cat or dog. If you don't care enough to make sure your pets safe, or can't take five to ten minutes out of your busy day to walk them, or even just watch them, don't have a pet that has to go outdoors. Blame goes both ways, To blame a wild animal for your neglect, is like getting upset when a wild raccoon that knocks down, and eats your garbage, every garbage day. If you don't secure and protect what belongs to you or your family, it means you didn't care enough to do so.
Michael August 08, 2012 at 08:30 AM
Coyotes have been living in Fairfield County for over 13 years, it's nothing new. Another fact is, many hunting dogs, northern dogs, pit's, hounds, and guardian dogs, have something called a prey drive. This is a natural instinct that causes them to go after smaller animals A.K.A. small dogs, cats, birds, rodents, and more. Even if they are socialized and trained, the prey drive may take over. Many dogs are abandoned every day, even in Fairfield county, check for lost posters in and around Fairfield County. Many attacks that have no whiteness, blame fox, coyote's, and wolves, when the culprit is most likely hungry stray's, lost dogs, wild packs of dog's, bobcats, fishers, and many more small prey natural predators. There have also been bear and cougar sightings many times in neighboring towns, and cities. Hybrid's are problems as well, it's easy to blame one animal for everything bad, America almost exterminated wolves, mountain lion's, and brown bear. This is the reason for so many deer, coyotes, and other animals. The balance is there for a reason, when humans disrupt it, it creates a state of disequilibrium.
chrisrus February 10, 2013 at 06:14 AM
Excellent work, Ms Kupchick. One other thing, if you would, what kind of fence are experts recommending?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »