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Coyote Sightings On the Rise in Southbury

Animal Control working with DEEP to remove coyotes following attack on Southbury dog.

Following multiple sightings and an attack on a pet last month, the Southbury Animal Control is warning residents of increased coyote activity in Southbury.

Coyotes have been spotted at Settlers Park as well as the 800’s section of Old Field Rd. in Southbury, according to Marilyn Muratori-Jarvis, Southbury Animal Control Department Supervisor. A dog was attacked in this area last month by three coyotes.

The cocker spaniel survived the attack, but residents are being urged to keep their pets safe and to be aware, especially after dark, that any dog or cat is potential prey for coyotes.

The resident whose dog was attacked has since asked the Southbury Animal Control Office to trap the coyotes in the area. Animal Control is working with the DEEP to accomplish this task.

Though coyote sightings of this nature and in this area are not necessarily uncommon Muratori-Jarvis says they should be taken seriously. 

“They are a nuisance because they do go on people’s properties and they do attack pets,” she said.

To prevent attacks on pets residents are encouraged to never leave animals outside unattended, carry an air horn or whistle when walking their pet and in the event of a coyote encounter make loud noises in an attempt to scare the coyote away.

Residents who spot a coyote are encouraged to call the Southbury Animal Control at (203) 262-0613 or the State D.E.E.P office at (860) 424-3011.

anonymous January 10, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Also, speaking of negative impact Mr. Fox...no matter how rare or frequent the occurrences...if a pet is attacked that is a negative impact. If a child, friend, neighbor, or fellow HUMAN BEING is attacked that is a negative impact. If disease is spread that is also a negative impact. If the number of coyotes goes up, so do the chances for the spread of mange, rabies and attacks on our pets, family, friends, fellow humans no matter how rare or frequent...period. Agree or disagree, as I said before my position is that I would rather error on the side of caution then wake up overrun one day in a situation where something terrible happens again. To further clarify my position on trapping...you are right I did assume they were relocating them and I'm not sure if that is what they will do...so let me just say I'm all for trapping and relocating, trapping and shooting, or even shooting on site given a threatening situation. If things can be handled humanely, so much the better...but whatever gets the job done. My .02 one final time and have a great day!
ConcernedResident January 10, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Shot gun at the back door. They come near my home they are done.
Thad Burr January 10, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Coyotes "invaded" Connecticut in the late 1950's; prior to that they were not in the State, therefore, like any "invasive species", I do not feel any remorse over having them trapped and shipped back out west where they originated.
Rob January 10, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Hey Anonymous... you're the ONLY one squawking with a contrary opinion; THAT was MY point. And whom are the " ...many of us who agree with this approach and support it." ? If there were so "many of you", statistically, there'd have been more respondents herein supporting your viewpoint; CLEARLY, that's NOT the case - you are the lone wolf, in this forum howling at the moon.
Mike January 10, 2013 at 11:50 PM
I am the homeowner whose dog was attacked. It's wonderful how naive some of you are. "Oh they're a part of nature and they frolick and sun themselves on my driveway don't trap and kill these majestic beasts of nature...." This article is missing many facts. 1) We live on a farm, so anyone who thinks we should fence in a multi-acre property with coyote proof fencing (which would involve a six foot fence, and concrete poured three feet underground to keep them from digging under it) is insane. Not all of Southbury is quasi-suburbia with tiny patches of grass that make you ex-city folk feel like you live in the country. 2) Coyotes are recognized as a pest animal throughout the continental US. Many states have bounties on coyotes due to how numerous they are. 3) These "coyotes", after genetic testing, have at least equal parts of wolf in their genetic code--many researchers refer to these animals as "coywolves": http://www.easterncoyoteresearch.com/ This is why there are numerous reports of these "coyotes" attacking and killing calves on farms. Western coyotes are more solitary, but the ones around here live and hunt in packs and take down larger game like deer versus rodents. One farmer I spoke to at the vet when I brought my dog in with over a dozen puncture wounds remarked that he had killed over 70 this year alone. These are not a dwindling species in need of protection folks, they're the apex predator in the Northeast and their numbers have exploded in recent years.
ConcernedResident January 11, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Mike I am very sorry for your troubles. These are not the kind of things you want around your home and your poor dog is a perfect example. Is the dog going to be okay? Ignorance certainly shows itself regularly here on the patch. Reading some of the comments proves it time and time again. I too have a large tract. Up until reading this story I was out every evening late with my dogs not even with a flashlight. Now I will have flashlight and make alot of noise. My shotgun is ready at the door. If I see one it will soon be a dead one. They are fine as long as they stay away from my home.
Todd Fox January 11, 2013 at 03:31 AM
I'm very sorry that the dog was harmed. I have no quarrel with killing an animal that is threatening your livestock, or doing damage, but I disagree with the idea that coyotes should be killed on "site" as anonymous suggests. My quarrel with her argument for exterminating coyotes is that she keeps telling us to "imagine" that a human was attacked. This didn't happen. Human beings, and livestock for that matter, are more in danger of being attacked by a pack of roaming domestic dogs than a coyote. I have lived at the edge of preserved open space for a long time and have never had a problem with the coyotes, but have had to fend off roaming dogs, including a pair which later killed a local dog in an unprovoked attack. The Fish and Wildlife department in Vermont presents a balanced view of co-existing with coyotes, and outlines some of the benefits thye provide as well as the problems they pose. I prefer to look at this in a balanced way. We cherish open space in Southbury and open space means wildlife.
Todd Fox January 11, 2013 at 03:32 AM
anonymous January 11, 2013 at 04:40 AM
So looks like I am compelled to respond one last time... 1. Rob - looks like in your zealous desperation to prove the point you were trying to make against me turned out to be oh so terribly WRONG ey? As I said, plenty of others share the opposite side of your view even if they don't choose to respond here...but I'm glad a few did and if that's what it takes for you to be enlightened I hope it helps you see a bit beyond your own horizon. 2. Todd - you are also COMPLETELY WRONG about: a) my sexual orientation lol b) what you think my post suggested I merely said what perspective I agree with which was - trapping and relocating is fine by me, trapping and shooting is fine by me, or finally given a threatening situation shooting on site is also fine with me. No where did I say and only say and only suggest that "they should be killed." So don't put words in my mouth thanks. Mike thank you for sharing here with us and I too am really sorry for your loss...I know if I lost my dog I would be absolutely devastated. He is such an important part of our family so I really feel your loss. I support you and your position on this 100%... if you didn't know that already! Concerned Resident and Thad - I am glad you posted and agree with you both!
Todd Fox January 11, 2013 at 02:43 PM
It's irrelevant to me what your sexual orientation is. Gay or straight, it has nothing to do with the discussion. You did write "I'm all for...trapping and shooting, or even shooting on site given a threatening situation." This suggested that you are in favor of killing them even outside of a threatening situation. If I misunderstood your intention I'm sorry.
Todd Fox January 11, 2013 at 03:26 PM
An article from a Patch writer elsewhere with common sense recommendations for how to keep predators off your property: http://foxpoint.patch.com/articles/bayside-cops-hope-wolf-urine-will-solve-coyote-problem
ConcernedResident January 11, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Dear Editor: As is too often the case on Patch, at least in Southbury, it appears it is time to shut this down thanks to knuckle heads like Todd Fox and Annonymous. They are taking it personal rather than to the point of the article.
anonymous January 11, 2013 at 05:48 PM
TOD - OMG you called me a "she"!!! That was all I was referring to. I am a male...don't know why you called me a she... yes I know very well what I said NUMEROUS TIMES NOW - you were focusing solely on one single thing that you picked out that I said and wrongly inferred that I was suggesting something rather than looking at everything I said and clearly seeing all I did was share the perspectives I agree with and disagree with. JEEESH! Talk about insanity...
Art January 12, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Mike, what an intelligent response. I heard through a mutual acquaintance that you had to undergo a long series of painful rabies shots also. Hope all is well and we can get some action taken on this dangerous nuisance!
Todd Fox January 12, 2013 at 11:04 PM
If you are concerned about rabies, as we all should be, consider this. Most cases in Connecticut are found in raccoons and bats. There are five distinct strains of rabies: bat, skunk, raccoon, fox, and dog/coyote. Most rabies in CT is from the Raccoon strain. An oral rabies vaccine for Rabies has been available for the past 30 years. It has been used successfully worldwide. Fox rabies has been virtually eliminated in Europe due to the distribution of an oral rabies vaccine. This vaccine is being distributed in many parts of the United States and Canada. Connecticut is one of the only states that is not currently participating in the campaign to eradicate rabies from the U.S. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Vermont are ALL currently distributing this oral rabies vaccine. Rabies could be eradicated with cooperation between individual states. Instead of killing all the raccoons, skunks bats and coyotes perhaps we should encourage our state to join our neighbor states in their campaign against the disease itself. In Connecticut in 2011 there were 195 cases of verified rabies: Raccoons: 104 Bats: 30 Skunks: 48 Domestic Cats: 7 Groundhogs: 2 Foxes: 2 Dogs: 1 Coyotes: 1 In 2010 there were 112 cases of rabies in Connecticut: Raccoons: 62 Skunks: 23 Bats: 15 Cows: 3 Foxes: 3 Bobcat: 1 Coyote: 1 Domestic Cat: 1 Dog: 1 Groundhog: 1 Horse: 1
rodger January 13, 2013 at 12:46 AM
How can a person move to a farm and not expect there to be wild animals? amazing
anonymous January 13, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Who said they weren't expecting coyotes? It's amazing that you think just because they decided to do something about it given the situation that they somehow weren't expecting coyotes. Is expecting really the equivalent of just leaving things alone and not doing anything about it because after all... it was expected? That's the point here...more could be done and some of us agree with other means of prevention. As for those statistics on rabies - of course that's just what has been verified and it's nice to see the numbers on the low end. Eradicating rabies - sure I'm all for it if it works and that's a great approach but it still doesn't address the possibilities of mange or attacks. That's why if the numbers of all these creatures are kept in check (i.e. in the lower numbers) you help prevent all threatening possibilities. If we become aware that the numbers/population is increasing... the point is some of us say let the numbers rise and don't do anything more than prepare for it and others feel we should take steps to keep those numbers low to reduce and prevent.
Todd Fox January 13, 2013 at 06:02 PM
I have no problem with wildlife management, as long as it is based on facts not fears. Mange isn't the scourge it used to be thanks to modern medicine. (Ivermectin) Rabies is deadly serious, but raccoons and bats carry most of the rabies we see in this part of the country. The most important thing that humans can do to prevent animal attacks is to treat wildlife as wildlife. DO NOT FEED THEM. This has to be adopted as a community wide practice. WIld animals are normally wary of people and do not approach UNLESS they have grown accustomed to human food. Every single coyote which was captured and autopsied after an attack was found to have traces of human food in its stomach. There are two important actions that people can take to prevent animal attacks in general. Don't let small domestic animals outstide unaccompanied. Don't leave food out. Deliberately feeding coyotes, skunks, raccoons, foxes, bears or any other wildlife puts you, your pets, your neighbors, your children and the wild animals themselves at risk. Wild animals stay away from people, unless they've been fed, intentionally or unintentionally by humans who leave food outside. Feeding pet cats and/or feral cats outdoors can attract coyotes. The coyotes feed on the pet food then eat the cats.
Todd Fox January 13, 2013 at 06:05 PM
If we want to co-exist with wild animals, we have to adopt a safe standard community wide: Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over. Bring pets in at night. Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, chickens and farm animals. Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles. Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house. Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings — rodents are concentrated like woodpiles. Even though the temptation to grab your phone and make a video of that bear or coyote which has been seen in your area, do not tempt them to come closer by leaving food outside so you can get a great photo. You end up hurting the animals when you attempt to "be friends" with them. That about sums up my attitude to wildlife. Don't try to be their friend, but don't make them in to an enemy either.
rodger January 13, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Anonymous- I don't think we should take any 'steps' other than to watch our children and animals. How hard is it to fence in a portion of your property to put your dog in when it's outside? and what about bears, foxes, bobcats, vicious neighborhood dogs and chimpanzees? Not to mention raccoons, possums and squirrels that can carry rabies as well. Next thing we will hear is someone wants to round up all the woodpeckers because they make annoying noises.
rodger January 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM
excellent post, thank you
rodger January 13, 2013 at 11:07 PM
@Rob thanks for that post-great points
Todd Fox January 13, 2013 at 11:30 PM
A coyote will take a small dog from within an enclosure or off a porch. But then again a hawk will swoop down and nab a kitten or puppy if its hungry enough. Owls hunt skunks successfully. No reason to think they won't nab a wandering cat.
anonymous January 14, 2013 at 04:08 PM
My point to you Rodger was that these people knew what to expect and prepared in all the ways that you all are suggesting. Read Mike's post. No it's not hard to take precautions as we all are aware of...and should....but sometimes that's not enough. It might be for you but for some us.. it's not. So to assume just because someone takes a different stance on this issue doesn't mean they have not taken precautions or aren't aware of how to do so. Also, to draw the conclusion and compare the mind set that those in favor of trapping coyotes is along the same lines as wanting to round up woodpeckers because they make annoying noises goes to show how you view people who disagree with you....as stupid.
Todd Fox January 14, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Have you ever had a persistant woodpecker stand in the gutter and peck at your roof as the sun is coming up at 5:30 AM? It sounds like a machine gun. In the spirit of being prepared: If anyone is ever visited by a plague of noisy woodpeckers the solution is easy enough. Buy a gold or silver tinsel garland at the party store and string it on the side of your house near the gutter where the woodpeckers like to sit. The shimmery tinsel scares them away. This actually worked. The woodpecker went back to his tree and everybody was happy.
ConcernedResident January 15, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Good so lets pretend there is tinsel in this article so Todd and anonymous will stay away from here with there childish nit picking
Todd Fox January 15, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Rodger, in case there is any misunderstanding of my intentions, I mentioned the tinsel as a repellant for woodpecker noise because it's useful information. It came from the Audubon society and we found it very helpful. Best wishes.
anonymous January 15, 2013 at 01:40 PM
lol -- yes - people hashing it out debating, arguing, and defending their points of view = childish nit-picking...so sorry we disturbed you in the very place that this is intended to occur.
ConcernedResident January 15, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Debating and or defending ones point of view is one thing; you guys go off topic with personal childish antics.
anonymous January 16, 2013 at 03:18 PM
You're wrong....debating and or defending one's point of view is exactly what has gone on here and we've stayed right on target to all things brought up. If you want to only see childish antics that's obviously your own problem.


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