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Residents of one Plantsville neighborhood are scared for their pets and small children because coyotes have been seen wandering very close to homes.
Amy Malsheske is worried for her new puppy, Link. "Especially when you get up and let your dogs
out early in the morning. You are afraid that something is going to happen," she said.
Over the past few weeks, she and her neighbors around Nutmeg Drive in Plantsville have seen a pack of five coyotes wandering around and have been woken up by them in the middle of the night.
"It's a really high-pitched yip and they're altogether," Malsheske said.
Coyotes are not native to Connecticut, but several have been seen in the state over the last decade or so, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
"We see more coyotes overall throughout the state and they have been increasing over the last several years as coyotes have moved from the Midwestern states to the Eastern states," Rick Jacobson, director of wildlife for DEEP, said.
But Jacobson said that unless the coyotes attack a human, the state can't do much.
Still, there are things you can do to protect your pets.
"Don't leave them outside in backyards with invisible fences, because, remember the coyotes don't have shock collars on," Jacobson said.
Keep your pets on a leash outside and don't let them out at night, he advised.
Small children can look like pets to a coyote, so keep an eye on your kids when they are outside.
And to keep coyotes away from your house, tie up and secure garbage, don't leave pet food out and clean up fruit that has fallen from trees.
If you do encounter coyotes, make a lot of noise. Coyotes are scared of humans and likely won't stick around.