Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coyote attacks on the rise-Keep your pets inside

Coyote attacks on the rise in Fairfield

 Just a reminder to keep an eye on your pets

Published : Thursday, 14 Jun 2012, 4:33 PM EDT
by Ali Reed
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) -- A string of coyote attacks have Fairfield animal control officers concerned and they are issuing a stern warning to pet owners.  
"Do not leave your cat or dog outside unattended," says Gina Gambino of Fairfield Animal Control, "especially during evening hours"
She says that coyotes are most active at night and in the early morning hours. That's when you need to keep them on a leash or be outside with them. 
Five dogs that were attacked were all in their own yards when the coyotes struck.
"They're becoming more brave they're also becoming higher in numbers," explains Gambino.
That means that fences, invisible or not, are not enough to keep a coyote out. 
"Animals like coyotes are survivors," says Gambino. "They will take every opportunity to get their food whether it be jumping a fence or getting through thick bushes."
While the five dogs that were attacked were all small dogs, animal control officers say if you have cats or big dogs you should also be on alert and take certain precautions.
For starters, make sure you don't leave any trash out on your property. Officers say that this attracts coyotes.
"Keep on walking your dog on a leash, bring a cell phone with you," says Gambino. "What you can even do is purchase something like an airhorn or bring something with you that makes a lot of noise. Coyotes are afraid of noise."
"When I let my dog out at night I'm with her now," says Laura Pitaniello, a Fairfield dog owner.
She says that she used to rely on an invisible fence in her backyard for safety. "Now, there have been too many dogs it's kind of scary," says Pitaniello.
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