STAMFORD, Conn. -- A wild coyote is on the loose in North Stamford, attacking larger dogs and posing a threat to young children, a police officer said Monday after three attacks occurred in the same area last week.
One of the attacks was captured by the dog owner in a pair of remarkable photographs.
The coyote, driven by either extreme hunger or possibly rabies, has attacked three larger dogs on Wire Mill Road, Red Fox Road and Dogwood Lane late last week, police Capt. Richard Conklin said.
"We would say to the community to be very, very careful of your pets. Normally we would say smaller dogs, but this is the difference here: We have had three larger dogs attacked and we would include that to say even larger animals," Conklin said.
"Also, with such an aggressive coyote running around, I'd be leery of letting out very young children who can't defend themselves."
The attacks occurred in an area just north of the Merritt Parkway and between High Ridge and Long Ridge Roads, he said.
In one case, the owner was able to quickly open a sliding door to let in her dog after it was attacked by the coyote.
"This is a big dog, a shepherd mix," he said. "All of a sudden she hears the dog yelp, in pain, all of a sudden it comes barreling back to the house. It's running like its life depends on it. She quickly closes the sliding glass door because the coyote is in hot pursuit."
Police released two photographs taken by the owner, including one in which the coyote is chasing her fleeing dog to the house. In the second one, the coyote is standing on the back patio, staring in at the woman and her dog.
Coyotes usually hunt for smaller prey such as cats because they seek to avoid injuries that would threaten their own lives, Conklin said.
"It appears to be extremely, extremely hungry and this is the oddity. And that is why we are monitoring it to make sure, (or) that the coyote isn't sick or in the early stages of rabies," he said.
Just last week, the Stamford Police Department warned residents that coyotes were attacking dogs in backyards in the city. In a post on the department's Facebook page, Stamford police said they have received reports that coyotes are hiding under decks and attacking dogs as they're let out.
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