Wednesday, February 01, 2017
Following recent encounters with coyotes, the Westport Police Department today issued precautions for residents, especially those with small children and pets.
“We would like to remind those with children and small pets to be aware of the dangers associated with a coyote encounter,” said Lt. David Farrell
He asked residents to take the following precautions, the first being never to feed coyotes seen on one’s property.
“It is illegal to feed coyotes in most places,” Farrell said. “Feeding endangers your family and neighbors as it lures coyotes into neighborhoods.”
Unattended cats and dogs should be kept indoors or in completely enclosed runs, especially at night, “and do not assume that a fence will keep a coyote out of your backyard,” he said.
He also suggested pet owners accompany their leashed pets outside, and if at night, to make sure that the outside lights are on to check for wildlife.
Farrell also said dogs should be kept on short leashes while walking outside, citing that the state Division of Wildlife recommends a leash no longer than six feet.
“Leave noisemakers on hand to scare away coyotes that may enter your yard, such as whistles and horns,” he said, adding that one should never run away or turn his or her back on a coyote.
“Yell, clap hands, blow a whistle and try to make yourself look larger if you have a close encounter with a coyote,” he said.
Farrell also said parents should keep their children close to them while outside.
Habituated coyotes are sometimes a neighborhood issue,” he said. “Work with your neighbors to make sure attractants such as fallen fruit, pet food left outside, dirty barbecue grills, and unsecured trash or compost are removed, so that negative coyote interactions are minimized.
“Be sure no one is intentionally feeding coyotes,” Farrell added.
To report coyote sightings, please contact the Animal Control Office at (203) 341-6011.
Posted 02/01/17 at 05:55 PM Permalink