Coyotes Attack Family Pets in Waterford

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Waterford and East Lyme animal control says dozens of pets have disappeared and fear Coyotes may to be blame. (Published Saturday, Jul 26, 2014)

    Coyotes may be responsible for dozens of missing pets, and Waterford residents are on alert.

    "I actually woke up to the cat screaming," said Waterford resident Jennifer Hansen.

    It was a terrifying moment when Hansen saw the family's 1-year-old cat, Timber, being attacked by a large coyote in the backyard of her Niantic River Road home.

    "The coyote picked her up. She got away from it, and then it grabbed her again and took off," said Hansen.

    It's a problem many places in Connecticut are seeing as coyotes become more bold. In the last couple of years Waterford and East Lyme Animal Control say coyotes have become more prevalent in their area.

    "People's cats and small dogs, if they're left unattended, sadly, they become part of the food chain also," said Waterford and East Lyme Animal Control Officer Robert Yuchniuk.

    Two Waterford pets have been killed over the past two weeks, including one on North Road. Friends say Buddy the Chihuahua was grabbed from a backyard when family members went inside for just a moment.

    "The coyote was in the woods, and it took Buddy. And we could hear him squealing," said Tori Barber.

    Animal Control says dozens of cats have also disappeared with the office receiving three or four reports a week, and there's a good chance coyotes are to blame.

    Neighbors are concerned that children playing in the yard could be a target as well, but officials say that's not the case.

    "There shouldn't be a problem with children or people. They should have a healthy fear of humans," said Yuchniuk.

    It's a situation that has many on edge as they keep a closer eye on pets.

    Animal Control says there's not a lot they can do about the coyotes, but they do have several tips on how to protect your pets.

    You should keep them inside if you can. If you have to take them out, keep them on a leash. It's also a good idea to turn on floodlights and make some noise to scare them away.